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the web of life in southern Africa

Hippotion celerio (Silver striped hawkmoth)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Phylum: Arthopoda > Mandibulata > Atelocerata > Panhexapoda > Hexapoda > Insecta (insects) > Dicondyla > Pterygota > Metapterygota > Neoptera > Eumetabola > Holometabola > Panorpida > Amphiesmenoptera > Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) > Glossata > Coelolepida > Myoglossata > Neolepidoptera > Heteroneura > Ditrysia > Apoditrysia > Obtectomera > Macrolepidoptera > Bombycoidea > Family: Sphingidae (hawkmoths) > Subfamily: Macroglossinae > Genus: Hippotion

Hippotion Celerio Male  

Hippotion celerio male [photo J. Joannou ]


Ecological interactions

Larval host plants in southern Africa

Information from Kroon (1999) unless otherwise indicated.


Adults feed from a wide variety of long-tubed flowers including:

  • Caricaceae

    • Carica papaya (Papaya, Papaw, Pawpaw). A cultivated species, pollinated by hawkmoths, including Agrius convolvuli. Martins & Johnson (2009) in a study conducted in rural Kenya, found that natural habitats were important in sustaining hawkmoth populations because they contained the larval hostplants needed in completing the life cycle. Hence, papaya plants grown near natural habitats were more likely to be pollinated than those isolated from natural habitats.


Publications (by date)

  • Kroon, D.M. 1999. Lepidoptera of Southern Africa - Host-plants and other Associations. A Catalogue. Published by the author and Lepidopterists' Society of Africa, P.O. Box 477, Jukskei Park 2153, South Africa. 
  • Martins DJ, Johnson SD. 2009. Distance and quality of natural habitat influence hawkmoth pollination of cultivated papaya. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science 29: 114-123.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1742758409990208

Text by Hamish Robertson