Newly eclosed Oleander Hawkmoth attracts males

on 4th February 2016

The Oleander Hawkmoth (Daphnis nerii) eclosed early in the morning of 2nd January 2016. By the time its presence was noticed, it was ready to fly off. In fact it did fly off but was carefully placed back into the cage.

By around 1500 hours a male Oleander Hawkmoth was seen perching on the roof of the porch where the female was (above). Obviously the hawkmoth that eclosed earlier was a female and the one on the roof was a male. This was based our Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) experience.

Assuming that the female would attract the males to mate with her (above), she was placed outside the cage. Hopefully the mating pair could be caged until the eggs were laid.

By late evening another two hawkmoths were seen on the roof (above, below). The female was still on a twig below. Until 2200 hours they remained in their respective positions. Thinking that the porch light dissuaded males from descending to mate with the lone female, the lights were switched off. By 2330 hours the males on the roof had flown off.

The next morning a hawkmoth was seen around the table where it was placed. Can this be the female or the successful male that mated with the female? This could not be ascertained as it escaped capture.

This experience would be useful the next time a female Oleander Hawkmoth is bred. She would definitely be kept in a cage and if the male or males would like to mate with her, they would have to do so through the gap of the cage.

YC Wee & Amber Lau
January 2016

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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