Hawk Moth

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Hawk mothGenus: Theretra
Species: Theretra latreillii
Common names: Hawk Moth
ALA reference

I’ve found numerous small plants of Cayratia clematidea scattered through the Reserve but until now have not found one growing well. It is a weak climber that uses tendrils to cling to supporting vegetation. The plant here is about 5 metres in length and growing really well. What was really interesting was that there were about 8 Hawk Moth caterpillars feeding on it. These caterpillars are initially green, but later instars are brown like the one in the photo. All possess a pair of conspicuous “eye spots” on their heads which are used to confuse and possibly frighten predators.

(March 2010)

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