This beautiful looking comuflaging insect on my Chameli plant. What it could be? enter image description here

  • Additional information that could greatly assist would be 1. Geographical location - not exact - just region and country, and 2. Plant the insect is feeding from... looks to be a variety of hibiscus? May 13, 2020 at 10:34
  • Kolkata, India. Feeding on jasmine plant.
    – Muddassar
    May 13, 2020 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


It's the caterpillar of one of the three moths commonly called "death's head hawk moths". This one is acherontia atropos.

It normally feeds on Solanaceae (potatoes, tomatoes, nightshade, etc) though your Chameli (jasmine) isn't in that plant family.

The moth is very large and has some curious habits. For example it will enter bee hives to feed on honey, and if it is caught it can make a "squeak" as an alarm call.

See https://butterfly-conservation.org/moths/deaths-head-hawk-moth

I have never seen the caterpillar, but I have occasionally found a pupa (large and reddish-brown colour) in the ground when harvesting potatoes in the UK.

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