What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

zoomed in pic of moth
Hi bugman,
I wrote a week ago asking what kind of moth this was. I was looking at the pic I emailed in and noticed I couldn’t zoom in very much before it got blurry. So I cropped the original (I was too lazy to get my hard drive out and get the original the first time.) So here is a better zoom in of it. Like I said before we found it in our front yard on a rose bush, and we live in Turkey, close to Adana. I thought it was such a beautiful moth. Thanks,

Hi Steph,
Thanks for resending your photo of an Oleander Hawk Moth, Deilephila nerii or Daphnis nerii. This truly beautiful moth has an extensive range due to the use of its larval food plant, the Oleander, in landscaping. Bill Oehlke has the following information posted to his awesome website: “primarily associated with ‘the southern Mediterranean region, North Africa and the Middle East to Afghanistan (Ebert, 1969). Along the Mediterranean, there is no clear distinction between resident and migrant populations. Permanent populations exist in suitable locations in Sicily, Crete and Cyprus; however, over a number of favourable years further colonies may be established in those islands and also in southern Italy and southern Greece, all of which die out during a hard winter.’ and ‘Extra-limital range. From Afghanistan eastward to south-east Asia and the Philippines; as a migrant, it penetrates northwards into central Europe and central southern Asia. In 1974, this species was recorded as having established itself in Hawaii (Beardsley, 1979).’ “

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

3 Responses to Oleander Hawk Moth from Turkey

  1. Mia W. says:

    Aloha, I live in Hawaii and we’ve found this moth. We have a ton of oleander, it makes sense that we have this moth. Anyway, was wondering if this moth is poisonous to cats, as our outdoor cats are always bringing them inside and trying to eat them. Also, since oleanders give me hives, are the moths poisonous to us humans? Another thing, we’d like to bring it in to my daughter’s classroom, I’m assuming they eat oleander plants, so we’ll put some into a jar for tomorrow. But do we spritz a little bit of water too? I don’t want it to get moldy. We’re only going to keep it in the jar for maybe 15 hours. And I may be wrong in what it eats after it turns into a moth.

    Mahalo for answers you may have, since I’ve been searching and not finding much about them!

    • bugman says:

      Hi Mia,
      The caterpillar of the Oleander Hawkmoth feeds on the leaves of the oleander plant, but the moth is not that particular about only taking nourishment from oleander. Moths have a tubular proboscis and they drink nectar from a variety of deep throated, nectar producing flowers. If you daughter is taking a live moth to the classroom, we would not worry about it going hungry for 15 hours. We have not read anything about the moths retaining any toxins from the plants. Many insects are able to store toxins from plants they feed upon, and we cannot say if this is the case with the caterpillars of the Oleander Hawkmoth. We will try to do additional research and get back to you, but there might not be any information available from reputable sources on the internet.

      • bugman says:

        Ed. Note: This comment actually came from Mia, but since it came through a reply to our response as opposed to a fresh comment, we need to post it.
        Thank you so much Bugman!
        We really appreciate it. My daughter’s class had a really fun time today looking at these moths (we actually found 2) and put a little cap of water in there with some oleander flowers and leaves. We didn’t know what to put inside the jar. I’m waiting to see if they let them go today at school or whether they will be coming home with her to be put back into our oleanders. They really are beautiful. I cannot believe I didn’t take photos!
        I take photos of all sorts of bugs here in Hawaii. I have started a collection, but have to sort through thousands of photos.
        I will have to send you some of my more interesting ones.
        Aloha and please let me know if you have more research on what to feed the adult moths.
        Mahalo (Thank you in Hawaiian,)

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