Newly eclosed Oleander Hawkmoth attracts males

posted in: Butterflies and Moths, Fauna | 0

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

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