(Former Elpenor nerii) Also known as the Sphinx oleander, it has a wingspan of 90 to 130 mm. It is a moth of the family Sphingidae (Lepidoptera Heterocera )
and is one of the most beautiful in Europe. The Daphnis Nerii is substantially located in large parts of Africa and Asia.
It is a migratory species and, in summer it can be found up in south of the Scandinavian peninsula.In Italy there is as migrant species,
in the warmer months, and as a sedentary species, in southern Italy where the pupae can survive the winter.
The background color of the fore wing is green in shades of varying intensity, crossed by transverse drawing some tending to
light brown to pink, others almost black, which creates a complicated network. Dimorphism is the shape and color of the spots
of the last two segments of the abdomen, in a simplistic way we can say that the male has three spots, while the female only two.
Adults feed on nectar from a variety of flowers. They have a preference for species such as scented petunia, jasmine and honeysuckle.
They are particularly active in the twilight, and hover over the flowers after sunset, the long proboscis allows the butterfly to
feed remaining suspended in the air without leaning on the flower corolla.
The newly hatched caterpillars are blue. Their color is green as they grow. As they grow, on a segment of the anterior portion of the body take shape
Two-eyed white and blue-rimmed black: this feature is present, in a different and more refined, in many species of Sphinxes and defensive purposes.
Before of the pupation still change color becoming brown-black and orange, there is always the croissant caudal typical of the species.
The pupa is 60-75 mm long, glossy, colored light brown, with small blackish streaks, especially on the abdomen. You can see a black line
that runs at the proboscis. It is located directly on the ground, under the moss or dry leaves.
Frequent areas near streams where the plant grows wild main nurse caterpillars, the Oleander (Nerium oleander).
During the rest day clinging to a leaf or on the rocks. In Southern Europe between June and August this moth has two generations.
In other areas where it is permanently resident, it can be present several months a year with about 5 generations.
The caterpillars feed mainly on oleander (Nerium oleander), hence also their name, a highly toxic plant whose toxicity they are immune
but may also feed on most of the plants of the family Dogbane as Adenium obesum e Tabernaemontana divaricata.