Oleander Sphinx

Subject: green caterpillar
Location: Mumbai, India
February 21, 2014 4:41 am
this caterpillar was on a flowering plant in our garden . quite big . it is end of winter (very mild here in Mumbai )
thanks for time and effort
your site is wonderful
Signature: Jeet Sudhir Malhotra

Oleander Sphinx
Oleander Sphinx

Dear Jeet,
This caterpillar is the Oleander Sphinx, the caterpillar of the Oleander Hawkmoth,
Daphnis neri.  Caterpillars in this family, Sphingidae, often have caudal horns, hence the common name Hornworm.  Sphinx also refers to the caterpillar because of the characteristic pose struck by the caterpillar.  The false eyespots characteristic of this Hornworm are a defense mechanism utilized by many insects so they appear larger and more fierce.  The Oleander Sphinx frequently darkens just prior to pupation.  Adults are generally called Oleander Hawkmoths.

Oleander Sphinx
Oleander Sphinx

Thanks Daniel . Really appreciate the quick reply
My daughter just spotted another one –the darker version right now in the garden , near the same tree- It was found on the ground . it has a very jerky action when touched .it remains in curved position and when touched curls to the other direction . really amazing . We will keep a watch and hope we get a chance to see the pupa and the moth
But am a tad disappointed that it is not a butterfly !!!!

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