For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Silver-striped Hawk Moth

Also called the Vine Hawk Moth (Hippotion celerio)
This is a medium size moth and found throughout South Africa.
The larvae feed on grape vines, carrot tops and Arum Lilies amongst other things.
Its cryptic coloration, whatever the variation, makes this species difficult to see as it rests during daylight hours on stones, walls, tree-trunks, or amongst foliage.
Although active for only short periods, its powerful and rapid flight enables it to cover great distances; it is frequently attracted to light.
On hatching, the 4mm-long larva is pale yellow with a disproportionately long black horn. It immediately consumes its eggshell, then moves off to find a resting place on the lower surface of a leaf.
As with most larvae exhibiting anterior eye-spots, the head is retracted when the larva is alarmed, expanding the large eye-spots on the first abdominal segment.
When feeding, it rarely consumes the whole of a leaf; shoots with quarter- or half-eaten leaves often indicate the presence of a larva.

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