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Oleander Hawk Moth Caterpillar

Daphnis nerii Sphingidae


At first sight I called it an alien moth because of its large eye like structures on its head and shiny dots bodering it's body. Then I googled about it and came to know about its real name .


On my way to tution class, I found it crawling under a tree at Amherst Street road, kolkata , near the mosque(I didn't take a notice of the tree, extremely sorry for that) . It was doing some weird curve dance with each of my footed steps . I even took a video of that crazy dance😅


This moth is commonly known as poison eating moth because it feeds on the leaves of Nerium Oleander, which are toxic to humans and a no. of other animal species. These caterpillars are immune to the toxicity of these leaves. The one I spotted is at its last stage of Caterpillar before turning to cocoon. When they are first born , they are a pale blue colour. This slowly changes to green as the larvae age . The alien like eeric blue eyes aren't actually eyes. These are spots to make it look dangerous to its predators.

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Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 2 years ago

Hi Suchandra and welcome to PN.
It makes some sense to me that a species which develops huge false eye spots is likely to use them to scare you away. Maybe that was the dance. ;-)
By the way there's no need to 'suggest' an ID on your own spotting. We usually just write into the notes and thoughts around species names.

Suchandra Das
Suchandra Das 2 years ago

@SukanyaDatta yea it's in pre-adult stage

SukanyaDatta 2 years ago

Welcome to project noah...this caterpillar is close to turning into a moth...

Suchandra Das
Suchandra Das 2 years ago

@MichaelS thankyou very much

MichaelS 2 years ago

Hi Suchandra Das,

A friendly welcome to the Project Noah community :)

Great first caterpillar spotting!

Suchandra Das
Spotted by
Suchandra Das

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Spotted on Dec 8, 2018
Submitted on May 11, 2020

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