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Australasian Privet Hawk-moth Caterpillar

Psilogramma casuarinae


A really cool looking caterpillar. Initially this caterpillar is green with a strong nearly straight horn on its tail pointing backwards. Later it develops a series of diagonal white stripes on its sides. This is a fully developed caterpillar and has grown to its full length of about 8 cms. Psilogramma casuarinae is found in eastern Australia and was long treated as a synonym of the Asian species Psilogramma menephron, but is now thought to be a distinct species.


Found in my garden... by my cat. I have observed this species of caterpillar feeding on a China Doll tree (Radermachera sinica) in my yard, so that is where I placed it. When last I saw it, it was feeding away quite happily. On certain plant species this caterpillar is an agricultural pest. (see 2nd reference link for plant species list).


This spotting began with the last photo in this series. The big white paw belongs to my cat Lillie. I could hear rustling in the garden, and it was her playing with the caterpillar. She was just curious, and each time she patted it with her paw it would twitch. I rescued it with a tea towel, and just as well I did (use the towel) because I could feel the caterpillar trying to bite through it. After a few photos I placed it in the tree.

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maplemoth662 6 years ago

Your welcome, Neil Ross....

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 6 years ago

Thanks, maplemoth662. I have my cat "Lillie" to thank for this spotting. It was rustling in the leaf litter, and she was having a huge time tapping it with her paw (last photo). She didn't harm it in any way, although I didn't give her a chance to. A very cool-looking caterpillar.

maplemoth662 6 years ago

A very pretty caterpillar....

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Spotted on Apr 20, 2014
Submitted on Apr 20, 2014

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