Hawk Moths (Sphingidae)
Another impressive sized moth genus are the Hawk Moths (Sphingidae). I always get very excited when I see this genus of moths. The larval stage are really impressive as well and usually have a tail unlike other moth larvae. One interesting fact about hawk moths is that they are one of the fastest flying insects some capable of flying up to 19 km an hour.
The White-brow Hawk Moth (Gnathothlibus eras) is a fairly common sighting in the Cairns Botanic Gardens, the caterpillar is often found sharing the host plant of the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly, so I will often find them as part of my Let’s Go Buggin tours.
Daphnis moorei is an absolutely stunning moth that has the face on its back. I’ve seen this moth species a number of times and the caterpillars are extremely impressive with a beautiful faint rainbow running down the sides of their body as well as the distinctive hawk moth tail.
Privet Hawk Moth or Large Brown Hawkmoth (Psilogramma menephron) is a master of disguise, especially when it is perched on its chosen territory of a tree trunk. Another large moth but often and seen due to its incredible design.
Hawk Moth Daphnis moorei, White-brow Hawk Moth (Gnathothlibus eras), Privet Hawk Moth or Large Brown Hawkmoth (Psilogramma menephron)