DAPHNUSA OCELLARIS Walker, 1856 -- Durian hawkmoth

Female Daphnusa ocellaris. Photo: © NHMUK Female Daphnusa ocellaris. Photo: © NHMUK Male Daphnusa ocellaris. Photo: © NHMUK Male Daphnusa ocellaris. Photo: © NHMUK


Daphnusa ocellaris Walker, 1856, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus. 8: 238. Type locality: Borneo.

Synonym. Daphnusa orbifera Walker, 1862.

Synonym. Smerinthus oculata Boisduval, 1875.


Wingspan: 80--112mm. This species is like a small Marumba, but with a pale patch at the place of the tornal loop on the forewing upperside forming a rather poorly defined ocellus. The male pale reddish-brown or dark olive-brown; collar and vertex of thorax darker. Forewing upperside with two waved subbasal lines angled outwards at 2A+3A, where they join an oblique antemedian band; a crenulate postmedian band bearing a large pale spot at inner margin, the inner side with some red dentate marks; two crenulate submarginal lines; a chestnut patch on costa before apex. Hindwing red-brown, with some bright chestnut lines above anal angle. Forewing underside with two crenulate submarginal lines; hindwing with curved median and postmedian lines (Bell & Scott, 1937).

The genitalia distinguish this species from the closely related Daphnusa ailanti. In the male genitalia, uncus strongly bifid; each part consisting of basal zone and a darkly sclerotised spur, the spur smaller than in D. ailanti and the basal zone larger than in D. ailanti. Valve small, rounded, the inner surface concave with the ventral margin enclosing most of the harpe. Harpe smaller than in D. ailanti and lacking the sharp central flexure of that species. Saccus shorter and broader than in D. ailanti. Aedeagus bifid with bifurcations twice length of those in D. ailanti.

Male Daphnusa ocellaris, Thailand. Photo: © Ian Kitching Male Daphnusa ocellaris (side view), Thailand. Photo: © Ian Kitching Mating pair of Daphnusa ocellaris, Selangor, Malaysia, 2017. Photo: © Kurt Orion, 'OrionMystery'.





LARVA: Head large, rounded, thorax and anal segments strongly tuberculate. Horn long, straight, densely tuberculate. Basic body colour green, with a dorso- and a ventro-lateral series of purplish-brown spots. Segment 8 almost entirely purple-brown, this belt produced backwards dorsally, forming a large patch on segment 9; there is a large divided dorsal patch on segment 14 (Rothschild & Jordan, 1903).

Feeds high in the crown of trees.


Larval hostplants. Nephelium (Sapindaceae) and Durio (Bombaceae) (Inoue, Kennett & Kitching, [1996] 1997).

A minor pest of durians (Durio spp.) in Malaysia (Ramasamy, 1980).



China: Yunnan (Menglun).


Sri Lanka, northern India (Subhasish Arandhara, 2016), Nepal, Thailand, southern China (Yunnan), Malaysia (Peninsular, Sarawak), Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan) and the Philippines.

Global distribution of Daphnusa ocellaris. Map: © NHMUK.


Return to Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic species list
© A. R. Pittaway & I. J. Kitching (Natural History Museum, London)