Search by Subject
Search by Institution
Daphnis nerii (Linnaeus, 1758) 夾竹桃天蛾

Tags: insect | moth


Daphnis nerii (Linnaeus, 1758) 夾竹桃天蛾


The English vernacular name of Daphnis nerii, the Oleander Hawk-moth, is referring to its host plant, the oleanders. The species is widely distributed in Africa and Asia, and sometimes appears in eastern and southern Europe in the summer. The adult is largely olive green in coloration, featured with modern-art-styled strips and markings on the wings.

The female moth lays her eggs on the underside of the leaves. The larvae have five instars, and each instar has duration of 4, 3, 3, 4, and 5 days, respectively. They feed on several Apocynaceae plants including Nerium indicum Mill, Catharanthus roseus (L.), Allamanda cathartica L., Adenium obesum Forsk, Alstonia scholaris (L.) R. Bt., Tabernaemontana divaricata L., and Cerbera manghas L., and so on. These plants are poisonous to most animals, but the larvae are immune to the toxin and turn that into a defense material against predators.  The prepupa lasts three days, followed by a papal stage of 16~17 days. The species may overwinter as pupae.  The adults can be seen in January, May, June, August, October and December and there may be three generations annually (Lin, 1997).
The Oleander Hawk-moth is common in Taiwan, especially in urban or suburban areas. This is probably caused by the great abundance of its host plants in these areas.
National Museum of Natural Science (The Digital Museum of Nature & Culture