Death's-head Hawkmoth

kevin91172

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
407
I am a big Hannibal lecture movie fan and I am curious on the Death's-head Hawkmoth .I always thought it was a fictional insect until I goggled it.It really exists.Does anybody keep these?

I think I want one:)
 

Terry D

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
733
Hey Kevin, Yep, that's a european spp. We have a lookalike here but at present the sp name is eluding me. Awesome moths!:)
 

bugmankeith

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
2,731
Isn't that what tomato hornworms turn into? If it is I have raised them. They are a lot of work as larvae as they eat so much and are aggressive towards each other and if there is not enough space you will find many getting bit to death. Plus they need a place to climb to molt, they will die if they are forced to molt on the ground. A lot harder than silkworm raising!

If you can get a 10 gallon you can fit around 30 larvae but must supply plenty of branches for them to climb on or tomato leaves. They will also eat chopped up tomatoes too with the tomato leaves.

Once they are full grown they will wander around all the time and get brownish color, thats when it;s time for them to pupate.

They must be able to dig under the soil and not be disturbed to pupate. I bought a huge plastic critter keeper and filled it with potting soil.
Since they all pupated around the same time, after about a week and a half I carefully dug out the pupa and put them in a large tank with mesh around, for when the moths hatch.

Once they hatch you need to let them go on a warm day around dusk, they wont fly during the day and they need to hover to drink flower nectar. It varies when they appear depending on where you live, so when you see wild hawkmoths is when you can release the adults. I put mine on a brown fence so they could fly away when they wanted and they blended in.
 

kevin91172

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
407
Hey Kevin, Yep, that's a european spp. We have a lookalike here but at present the sp name is eluding me. Awesome moths!:)
Hey Terry! I would even be happy with one as a shadow box actually,but a larvae would be super sweet to see become the moth,what the heck do they eat I wonder as moths?besides clothes which I heard moths do but never experienced,kinda on some crazy mission again.:rolleyes:

---------- Post added at 08:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:44 PM ----------

Isn't that what tomato hornworms turn into? If it is I have raised them. They are a lot of work as larvae as they eat so much and are aggressive towards each other and if there is not enough space you will find many getting bit to death. Plus they need a place to climb to molt, they will die if they are forced to molt on the ground. A lot harder than silkworm raising!

If you can get a 10 gallon you can fit around 30 larvae but must supply plenty of branches for them to climb on or tomato leaves. They will also eat chopped up tomatoes too with the tomato leaves.

Once they are full grown they will wander around all the time and get brownish color, thats when it;s time for them to pupate.

They must be able to dig under the soil and not be disturbed to pupate. I bought a huge plastic critter keeper and filled it with potting soil.
Since they all pupated around the same time, after about a week and a half I carefully dug out the pupa and put them in a large tank with mesh around, for when the moths hatch.

Once they hatch you need to let them go on a warm day around dusk, they wont fly during the day and they need to hover to drink flower nectar. It varies when they appear depending on where you live, so when you see wild hawkmoths is when you can release the adults. I put mine on a brown fence so they could fly away when they wanted and they blended in.
I had one of those and raised to a moth,got to find the pics,but it was similar.
I turned it loose with my boys.It was an awesome experience.As a kid did this a lot with the monarch, but it has been years since I seen those caterpillars ,they used to be abundant...
 

Terry D

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
733
Manduca rustica- rustic sphinx is the lookalike

Kevin, Most Sphingiids are still rather abundant here. Rustic sphinx is less common than some but I still see a few each year. I'd probably see alot more if I lived in the countryside. Sphingiids (many spp) in general are out and about especially during the warmer times of year spring through fall. If you have any four o'clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) blooming in or near your yard you will find visitors from right at dusk 'til about an hour after- often right before dawn and at dawn for some spp. They'll also nectar at Vinca after dark (landscape periwinkles) which many daytime butterflies shun. Many flowers, especially more fragrant + with longer corollas are preferred.

Host plants for rustic sphinx here are probably Chionanthus virginanus -aka- grancy graybeard or fringe tree and plants in family Bignoniaceae- best know rep. of that here is crossvine- Bignonia spp. You probably have both of those.

Other better-knowns that fall in this category are tomato/tobacco hornworms and catalpa worms. I've never actually tried raising them but it can't be that hard. Let me know how you do this coming summer when you find some. :)

Terry

edit- oops, I red your second reply in the first post the wrong way and see that you've already raised one. Well, good luck if you find some rustic sphinx larva/eggs.
 
Last edited:

kevin91172

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
407
Wow!!

That is a lot of info..I copied and pasted it in a note book to Google these things mentioned...Hey thanks a bunch:)
 
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