Oleander Hawk-moth Sphingidae

Daphnis nerii (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 80-120mm. Adults of this beautiful species have intricately patterned forewings, which are a mixture of olive greens, suffused with small blotches of pink and white. There is also a pale apical streak on each forewing. The hindwings are greyish green, with a pale white wavy line. It has a similar resting posture to the Eyed Hawk-moth.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Adults have been recorded in August, September and October.

Status: A colourful migrant moth that migrates northwards each year from the warmer Mediterranean regions of southern Europe and North Africa. This is one of the rarest migrants to reach N. Ireland. It has only been recorded on three occasions, at Ballywalter, Down October 1938, Belfast, Antrim September 1954 and Carrickfergus Marina, Antrim in August 1995. It is rarely reported elsewhere in Ireland the only records being from counties Carlow in 1953 and Dublin in 1944, 1953 and most recently 1997.

Ecology: In southern Europe this species produces more that one generation a year, but it does not breed in northern Europe. The larvae feed on Oleander Nerium oleander and periwinkle Vinca spp. It will also accept privet in captivity.

World Distribution: North Africa eastwards into Asia

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1985 Agassiz number: 69.011

Additional information:

UK Moths account


 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland