Grapevine Hawk Moth.
Last Updated: 19 April 2011
Grapevine Hawk Moths,
The slit at the tip of the abdomen is where the genitalia and the excretory tract are located. Many insects will dump the content of their guts when in danger, as a way of either distracting or repulsing a potential predator. In the case of moths, such as your hawk moth, the liquid is the fluid that has been used to expand the wings just after the moth has emerged from the pupa. It is usually very smelly, as it is full of waste products accumulated whilst the moth has been metamorphosing in the pupal stage. It is the insect equivalent of meconium, and the moth makes good use of it, not only as waste storage, but for helping to expand the wings, and for deterring predators.
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6 College St Sydney,
NSW 2010 Australia
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