What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Thailand Caterpillar
Location: Chon Buri, Thailand
March 16, 2012 11:17 pm
I am doing a science inquiry project for First Graders in Thailand. This caterpillar was eating my new plants (pic of plant attached). I kept one to show my students and we are all very excited to see that it has formed its chrysalis.
I’d like to know what butterfly/moth this is and how long it will be before it’s free to fly.
Thank you so much.
Pictures taken by me March 7, 2012 in Chon Buri, Thailand.
Signature: Teacher Becky

Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Becky,
Your caterpillar will metamorphose into an Oleander Hawkmoth,
Deilephila nerii or Daphnis nerii.  The caterpillars feed primarily on the leaves of oleander, though according to the Sphingidae of the Americas website (the Oleander Hawkmoth has been introduced into Hawaii): “Minor hostplants are Vinca, Vitis, Gardenia, Asclepias, Jasminum, Trachelospermum, Amsonia, Carissa, Tabernaemontana, Mangifera, Rhazya, Adenium, Catharanthus, Ipomoea and Thevetia. Larvae will also feed on Ligustrum ovalifolium in captivity.”  The range of this Mediterranean and North African moth has expanded, probably due to the cultivation of its food plant, and we have gotten reports from Thailand in the past.

Update:  Eclosion of Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar
March 22, 2012
Location:  Thailand
Hi there!  It’s with much fanfare that our caterpillar has emerged.  We were surprised at how long it hung around (we think drying its wings).  Picture attached.
Thank you so much for your help in our classroom.
Living in Thailand, I anticipate we’ll have a lot more pictures of critters to send your way in our quest to learn more about insects.  Your website is fantastic.
Regards,
Teacher Becky

Oleander Hawkmoth

Dear Teacher Becky,
We are happy your students got to witness the eclosion of this lovely Oleander Hawkmoth.  Thanks for providing a followup to your earlier letter.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Thailand

10 Responses to Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar from Thailand

  1. Craig says:

    These Oleander Hawkmouths defaced my just blooming Deasert Rose!!! Grr…

  2. suzanne albers says:

    We found a huge Oleander Hawkmoth Caterpillar destroying one of our small Be Still plant here in Maui Hawaii.
    We want to save our plants and get rid of the pests. We also have other types of inchworm looking caterpillars devouring the crotons. Please advise…Thank you

    • bugman says:

      We do not provide extermination advice.

      • Anna says:

        I can’t believe people are looking at this beautiful creature and the first few comments are people angry about their bushes. Jesus wept.

        My father’s cat just brought one in, very brown. Asked him to move it to a safe place. Thailand. Phitsanoluk.

  3. Anton says:

    Found them on my oleanders in Novalja, island of Pag, Croatia

  4. Dave says:

    Mine too, had a few in the garden and stripped the Desert roses clean, even the flowering tips eaten.

  5. Marcie says:

    I found an Oleander Hawkmoth caterpillar about two weeks ago and brought it to my grade 3 classroom. The next day it made it’s cocoon. My students and I have been waiting for it to open but I am worried because it is a very black color and lacks the lighter brown coloring I see on other sites for a healthy cocoon. How can I know if it is dead or not?

  6. Debbie says:

    How does the caterpillar get to move around. I found one in my sons bedroom upstairs while leaving his bedroom sliding door open for some air. I dont have any trees near the window – so no idea how it got in the poor thing. Also I find they move from one plant to another very quickly – yet they move slowly?

  7. Alex says:

    I live in Isan Province in NE Thailand and theses delightful creatures are happily chomping away on my plants too.
    I’ve plucked them and put them onto some unused gardens close by, there’s no need to destroy them.

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