What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Caterpillar ID
I just came across your website. Would you please be kind enough to identify this caterpillar I found eating white gardenia leaves? Do you have any particular tip on how I should care for it? We’re hoping it will turn into a beautiful butterfly! Thanking you in advance,

Hi Morgane,
Where in the world are you??


Thank You Morgane,
This is a Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth Caterpillar, Cephonodes kingii. Adults are diurnal moths that resemble bumble bees. Continue to feed the caterpillar. When it is ready, it will form a naked pupa underground.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

6 Responses to Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth Caterpillar from Australia

  1. Erin says:

    I am from australia and own a bee hawkmouth catterpillar but are wandering if they sting or harm you when they are in moth form or the spike on their tail in catterpillar form. Thank you

  2. Cathryn says:

    Hi there,

    We have a Gardenia Hawk Moth that has just emerged from it’s cocoon. We are hesitant to let it go as we are in Melbourne and it does not normally come down here. (The Caterpillar came down on some Gardenias we got in from QLD). How should we care for it?


    • bugman says:

      Introducing a non-native species can be a problem, though a single individual that has not mated cannot reproduce. We will leave the judgement call to you.

  3. Emma says:

    Hi there,
    Like morgane, my children and I are hoping to watch the lifecycle of our bee hawk moth.
    We currently have ours in a glass jar with gardinea clippings. Do we need to provide dirt and water for it to pupate in? Should we put that in now or later in the cycle? How long is the cycle?
    Thanks! Em

  4. We have this species on our Gardenias in Lismore, northern NSW, Australia. Last year our green waste bin was full of hundreds of them, and we wondered what they were doing in there. That must have been when my flatmate pruned the Gardenias and threw all the cuttings into the green bin. So there must have been eggs or young caterpillars on it. Evidently they were not at all perturbed about being shut up in a dark smelly bin for 2 weeks with rotting fish, meat and fruit, and blowflies buzzing all around them!

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