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Australian Wildlife

  Bee Hawk Moth (Cephonodes kingii)





Bee Hawk Moth | Cephonodes kingii photo
Bee Hawk Moth in letterbox

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BEE HAWK MOTH FACTS

Identification
The Bee Hawk Moth has transparent wings and a stout body like a Bumble Bees. They hover over flowers to feed and their rapidly beating wings hum, like a little hummingbird. The thorax is green, and the abdomen is yellow with a black band and a square dark patch on the segment after the black band.. The moth has scales on the wings when it first emerges from the pupa, but these are shed leaving the wings transparent with a broad dark area near the tip. It is similar to Cephonodes hylas which has smaller dark area at the tip of the forewings. The caterpillars start off pale green with a black tail horn. They turn darker with white spots with red edges on the sides and a horn on the tail.

Size
wingspan about 40mm

Food
Adult moths hover above flowers to feed on nectar. Bee Hawk Moth caterpillars feed on Gardenia jasminoides, Native Gardenia ( Gardenia ovularis), Australian Native Myrtle ( Canthium attenuatum) and other Canthium species.

Breeding
The female Bee Hawk Moth lays oval pale green eggs singly on the undersides of leaves. The eggs hare about 0.5mm in diameter. The caterpillars pupate in the soil.

Range
found in Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Western Australia



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Lepidoptera
Family:Sphingidae
Genus:Cephonodes
Species:kingii
Common Name:Bee Hawk Moth

Relatives in same Genus
  Coffee Hawk Moth (C. hylas)