Subject: Australian Daintree Rainforest Caterpillar
Location: Daintree Rainforest, Queensland, Australia
April 6, 2016 2:32 am
G’day – we were touring the Daintree Rainforest and happened upon this lovely fellow chomping away at a ylang-ylang plant. We would love to know what he is. His horn was textured a bit strangely.
This impressive Hornworm is the caterpillar of a Hawkmoth in the family Sphingidae. We believe we have correctly identified it as a species with no common name, Psilogramma casuarinae, thanks to the Butterfly House site where it states: “As well as the green form, there is also a brown form of the caterpillar (which usually still has areas of green on it). The coloration of both forms of the caterpillar look very striking, but when the caterpillar is on a Privet bush, the spacing of the stripes is about the same as that of the leaves, and the Caterpillar becomes very hard to see. This use of colour to hide is a form of camouflage.” Privet and Jasmine are listed as food plants, but Ylang Ylang is not. An image on FlickR is identified as an Australasian Privet Hawk Moth Caterpillar, though research we have done reserves that name for a different member of the genus, Psilogramma menephron, according to the Australian Museum.
Thanks so much – wish we could’ve seen the beautiful moth!
Thank you for identifying it for us,