Holocerina smilax




throughout West and Central Africa, from Sierra Leone to Kenya. South via the east of Africa to South Africa


In between 5 (males) and 8 (females) centimeter


In captivity continuously when kept warm

Food plants:

Ligustrum ovalifolium and Symphoricarpos (best), also accepted but more difficult and higher mortality: Pinus sylvestris and Hedera helix


One of the easier Holocerina species. Caterpillars are fully grown within four to five weeks when kept warm.  Keep the first instars in well ventilated plastic containers and move to a netted cage when older. Do not overcrowd. The hairs on these caterpillars are urticating, so don't touch. Holocerina species make a cocoon. The pupal stage is short (only 3 to 4 weeks).