Crops > Ornamentals > Gardenia > Gardenia hawkmoth, Fiji

Crops > Ornamentals > Gardenia > Gardenia hawkmoth, Fiji

Crops OrnamentalsGardeniaGardenia hawkmoth, Fiji

Gardenia hawkmoth, Fiji

May 2015. Fiji asked if this was the caterpillar of the dimorphic hawk moth that also attacks taro. It was found on Tahitian gardenia (Gardenia taitensis). Can anyone give an identification.

There was no response at the time, but later Dave Britton, Senior Entomologist, Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) said the following:

“I’m certain it is a Cephonodes. C. kingii does not occur on Fiji, but a related Fiji endemic Cephonodes armatus does, and apparently its host plants include Gardenia jasminoides, Guettarda speciosa, Morinda citrifolia (HOSTS database at the NHM). See also Fiji Lepidopteran checklist

“This doesn’t rule out the introduction of C. kingii to Fiji, and I couldn’t find any images of C. armatus to compare to the photo in the email. However, it does not look like a C. kingii larva (kingii do not have continuous red, white and black lateral stripes like the caterpillar in the image), so I think we can be pretty certain it is the endemic species.”