FAMILY SPHINGIDAE
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  Theretra nessus Drury 
Sphinx nessus Drury, 1773, Illustr. Ex. Ins., 2: 46.
Theretra nessus Drury; Rothschild & Jordan, 1903: 765.


Theretra nessus
(.65 natural size)


Diagnosis.
The broad irregular yellow band of the hindwing, the yellow-flanked, green abdomen and the green costal zone of the forewing interacting irregularly with the pale postmedial band distinguish this species.

Geographical range. Japan, Indo-Australian tropics to New Caledonia; introduced to Hawaii.

Habitat preference. T. nessus is taken frequently with light traps at all altitudes from the lowlands to 2600m.

Biology. The mature larva is variable, usually green or yellowish brown (Bell & Scott, 1937; Dupont & Roepke, 1941), with white dorsolateral and (green form only) dorsal lines, Bell & Scott illustrate the brown form as dorsally more yellowish brown. The ocellus on A1 is obliquely oval, white, edged blue to the interior; a much smaller ocellus occurs within the dorsolateral stripe on A2. All abdominal segments in this brown form have triangular blue patches to the dorsal side of the dorsolateral stripe. Oblique bars occur laterally from A2 backwards, white in the green form and darker brown in the brown form.

Recorded host-plants (Bell & Scott, 1937; Pholboon, 1965; Yunus & Ho, 1980; Miyata, 1983) are: Amaranthus (Amaranthaceae); Impatiens (Balsaminaceae); Citrullus (Cucurbitaceae); Arachis (Leguminosae); Boerhavia (Nyctaginaceae); Knoxia, Morinda, Oldenlandia, Spermacoce (Rubiaceae); Glossostigma (Scrophulariaceae); Camellia (Theaceae).

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