One look at Daphnis nerii, the Oleander Hawk Moth, and you'll understand its other common name: the Army Green Moth. Its camouflage canvas covers nearly four inches of wingspan, and allows it to rest well hidden during the day. The species was first "deployed" to Hawaii in the 1970's, and though not found on the mainland, they are widespread throughout southern Europe, Africa, India, and Asia. Dusk and dawn appear to be the times the moth is most active, feeding on the nectar of plants such as jasmine and honeysuckle. The caterpillars have a preference for Nerium oleander, well-known as a poisonous plant due to the presence of cardiac glycosides in the leaves, compounds which affect the contractions of the heart. Other plants which can serve as host plants for the caterpillar include desert rose, vinca, and grape, among others. Daphnis nerii lays a single light-green, spherical egg, on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves. When the larvae first appear, they may be pale blue or bright yellow, but later instars are green in color, with blue and white eyespots near the head and a yellow tail horn- truly as striking as the adult! The final instars become browner. Pupation generally takes place on the ground, usually under leaf litter. In about ten days, the adults emerge and take to the wing.
welcomes you to visit with the all the wonderful flora and fauna that we share this lovely aina with.