ホシヒメホウジャク Crisp-banded hawkmoth ☺

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I first noticed this little guy when I opened my front door one day. My apartment is on the first floor, and therefore there are insects hanging around my place all the time. He especially caught my attention because I first thought it was a leaf, but hanging on the wall? I took a closer look and realized that it is in fact not a leaf but a living thing. It is called Neogurelca Himachala Sangaica (ホシヒメホウジャク, Crisp-banded hawkmoth), a moth of the family Sphingidae. You can find it in Nepal, India, China, Thailand, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, and Japan from around June to November, not sure why I found mine in early May. It has four stages in life which is ovum, larva, pupa, and the adult stage.

Crisp-banded hawkmoth larvae are normally green or brown, with little dots on its body, and length around 45 to 55 millimeters. It can be easily identified with its long tail-like horn (length around ½ of its body) on its back. Most larvae like to rest under leaves, and some rest deep among the foliage. Crisp-banded hawkmoth larvae consume Paederia Scandens, which has a pretty interesting Japanese name called ヘクソカズラ, since this kind of plant is known for the strong odor when its leaves or stems are crushed. Since the larvae consume Paederia Scandens, a plant that most people would want to get rid of, it is considered a beneficial insect. Also, Paederia Sscandens can only be found in East Asia, I thought this would be the reason why Crisp-banded hawkmoth could only be found in East Asia.

Crisp-banded hawkmoth larvae will live for about 2 weeks and will dig into the foliage and become a pupa. It takes about two months for a Crisp-banded hawkmoth pupa to become an adult Crisp-banded hawkmoth. An adult Crisp-banded hawkmoth is normally brown, and length in average 40 to 50 millimeters. There are many in the

The adults do not fly as much, and when they do it is normally during night time. I remember that I saw the Crisp-banded hawkmoth in the morning when I left my apartment, and when I went back in the afternoon, it was still there. I tried taking a picture but was afraid that it would fly away so I took from far away, however, it is also said that Crisp-banded hawkmoths are not afraid of humans. Since it does not really fly, and probably is not afraid of me, I could have actually taken a better picture, too bad that I did not know about it. The adults consume honey from flowers such asホウセンカ andツリフネソウ in Japan and are often found in the residential area, which explains why there is one in front of my front door.

Sadly, I could not find any information about whether or not Crisp-banded hawkmoth looked like a leaf from the beginning or some evolved to avoid being caught and eaten. Looking forward to seeing them again in the future.

 

Links:

http://tpittaway.tripod.com/china/n_san.htm

http://www.chinjuh.mydns.jp/hakubutu/musi/zz000297.htm

http://wolffia.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/2008/11/post-b1dc.html

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