Bulletin 8 - July 1979: Convolvulus Hawkmoth - Agrius cobvolvuli

Convolvulus Hawkmoth - Agrius cobvolvuli

by Bish Brown

The eggs of this moth are laid on plants of the Convolvulaceae family: The moth is probably expanding its range in Abu Dhabi due to the introduction and cultivation of species suitable as food plants. Several wild plant species occur in addition to Ipomoea biloba (Goatsfoot creeper), Ipomoea palmata (Railway creeper) and Argyreia campanulata, which all bear pink trumpet-like flowers.

The green (occasionally brown) caterpillar reaches a length of 3 1/2 inches having vertical black and light-colored diagonal lines with eight red spots. A yellow horn protrudes at the rear end.

The mixed grey and brown wings have a span of 10 -11 cm; the hind wings have four dark bands. There are two red patches (one on each side) at the top of the abdomen, then rings of pink/grey and black. The proboscis is very long and enables the moth to feed whilst hovering near flowers. It is most active at dusk and during the night.

The pupa is brown and the proboscis is housed in a separate tube, which forms a jug-like handle.

Caterpillars were observed in Abu Dhabi town in late January and early March, and the first moths in late June.


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