Subject:  Gardenia Munchers in Queensland, Australian‼️
Geographic location of the bug:  Caloundra, Queensland, Australia
Date: 11/21/2017
Time: 07:48 AM EDT
I’ve got these gorgeous specimens chowing down on my Gardenia Buds, Flowers &, to a lesser extent, leaves.
I’ve put two in a glass jar with a little water, with Gardenia Buds, Blooms & leaves.
How long before this big fellow Pupates? Anything in particular that I should do to care for them?
Many thanks for your time??‼️
Warmest Entomological Regards,
How you want your letter signed:  Nikkii

Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth Caterpillar

Dear Nikkii,
What pretty Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth Caterpillars,
Cephonodes kingii, you have.  The only image we have in our archives is a green individual.  According to Butterfly House:  “These Caterpillars when they first hatch are pale green with a short black tail horn.  The caterpillars later become black, grey, or green, often with black lines across the back. The back of the head and the final claspers are covered in small white warts. The caterpillars have posterior horn shaped like a shallow ‘S’, and have white spiracles along each side outlined in red. The head colour varies from brown to green.”   The site also states:  “When threatened, the caterpillars arch back, and regurgitate a green fluid. If the caterpillars are crowded, they may eat each other.  The caterpillars pupate under the soil. The pupa is naked and dark brown, with a length of about 5 cms.”  You might want to consider moving them to a terrarium with clean, moist, but not wet potting soil in the bottom so they can pupate underground.  There is also a nice image on 1000 for 1KSQ.

Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth Caterpillar

G’Day Daniel,
My apologies – when I went back to your site, it must’ve re-submitted my request. I didn’t realise that was happening, soz
I’d like to thank you for your reply. It’s quite informative, & I’m rather excited to see the Bee  Hawk Moth emerge from Pupation ‼️
Gosh, they really go to town on the Gardenia Buds‼️ They seem to have a preference for the Buds, however they do munch on the leaves  & the flowers.
I have 2. The big one, & a small one. I can see the small one getting larger throughout the day. It’s all very interesting to me, as I’m an Environmental Scientist .
I have a small Fish Tank which I will convert to a terrarium. I have some potting mix/soil which has been out of use for some time. I am concerned about purchasing some new potting mix, as it has all of the added Fertilisers, soil wetting agents, & various other chemicals. Do you think I’m better off using the older/aged potting mix – just to be on the safe side?
I don’t want the Pupae to be compromised in any way.
Again, many thanks for your reply (very much appreciated ‼️). I do apologise for accidentally sending through 3 requests .
Warmest Entomological Regards,
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Location: Queensland, Australia

One Response to Gardenia Bee Hawkmoth Caterpillar from Australia

  1. AlexW, extreme entomophile says:

    Perhaps coconut coir might be a better bet. I know several people who use it for captive insects, and since it lacks nutrition it will not mold.

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