Known as the Sandal-box Hawk Moth (Coenotes eremophilae), this caterpillar is the instar of a species of moth of the family Sphingidae. that are found in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia.

Sandal-box Hawk Moth (Coenotes eremophilae)
Instar Caterpillar of the Sandal-box Hawk Moth (Coenotes eremophilae), Ormiston Gorge, NT

There are four stages in the life of a moth, with the time the length of each stage varying between species. The stages include egg, larval, chrysalis/pupa and imago/adult.

With most caterpillars they go through 5 stages of growth, with each stage called an “instar”, before becoming a chrysalis.

During the molting process, many caterpillars as they grow, will not only change appearance but may also show difference in colour forms, even within the same species.

Sandal-box Hawk Moth (Coenotes eremophilae)
Instar Caterpillar of the Sandal-box Hawk Moth (Coenotes eremophilae), Ormiston Gorge, NT

The images here are one of the instar stages of the caterpillar of the Sandal-box Hawk Moth. Depicted is the spotted yellow on grey form.

The caterpillars of the Sandal-box Hawk Moth usually have two yellow stripes along the length and on both sides of the body, one stripe below the row of orange to red spiracles (respiratory openings found along the body of the caterpillar). On the tail of the caterpillar is a black slightly curving horn. The head and prothorax have black and white bands.

Sandal-box Hawk Moth (Coenotes eremophilae)
Instar Caterpillar of the Sandal-box Hawk Moth (Coenotes eremophilae), Ormiston Gorge, NT

Common name
A member of Sphinx Moths, also known as the Sandal-box Hawk Moth, Australian Sphingulini.

Sandal-box Hawk Moth (Coenotes eremophilae)
Instar Caterpillar of the Sandal-box Hawk Moth (Coenotes eremophilae), Ormiston Gorge, NT

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Sphingidae
  • Genus: Coenotes
  • Species: C. eremophilae
  • Binomial name: Coenotes eremophilae
  • Synonyms:
    • Sphinx eremophilae
    • Protoparce minimus

Footnote & References

  1. Coenotes eremophilae, Coffs Harbour Butterfly House, http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/sphi/eremophilae.html
  2. Coenotes eremophilae, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coenotes_eremophilae (last visited Oct. 30, 2021)
  3. Coenotes eremophilae, iNaturalist, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/38452153
  4. Coenotes eremophilae, Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory, https://sphingidae.myspecies.info/taxonomy/term/783