Subject: Beautiful Australian Hawk moth!
Location: Herberton, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, AU
September 4, 2013 7:23 pm
Hi, I was recently studying abroad in Australia and came across this beautiful hawk moth! I was staying outside of Herberton in Queensland, AU (which is a dry sclerophyll forest), and going on a night spotlighting trip when we spotted this beautiful moth in the beam of our spotlight. It climbed up onto me, and fluttered around my face, and was an all-around magical experience, but I haven’t been able to identify it down to the species! The closest I have found are Gnathothlibus erotus and Hippotion scrofa, but neither have the correct wing shape or the dark line down the thorax that my moth had. Any help in identifying him would be greatly appreciated!
In a matter of minutes, we found your moth identified as Coequosa australasiae on Csiro where the physical traits you mentioned are obvious in the image of a mounted specimen. The images on Butterfly House are not as close, but there is still a strong resemblance. The Australian Museum also has a nice image. The uncropped version of your photograph has to be one of the finest Buggy Accessories photos we have ever received.