Colombia: macroglossini

Costa Rica: Macroglossini
Cautethia, Hyles and Xylophanes

This checklist will become more refined on a species by species basis as images and information are sent to me. If you would like to assist in the development of this worldwide Sphingidae data/image base, please send info and images to Bill Oehlke.

Since I am often asked to identify species from digital images, and since those images frequently show the moths at rest with the hindwings and abdomen hidden, I have arranged the images in accordance with my perception of forewing and thoracic characters: predominent markings, shape, colour. I have also included information about size, and most often display the moths in spread position as those same abdominal and hindwing features are often very useful when available.

Females often have a wing shape or pattern that differs from the males. I hope someday to also have a thumbnail checklist for the females.

Cautethia and Hyles

Cautethia spuria

Cautethia yucatana

Hyles lineata

Thorax: dark brown tegulae; dark brown head.
Dark brown, dark green, distinct, apical, transverse post median line.
Dark brown shading in cell area.

Xylophanes acrus
Fw o. m. concave for upper 1/3.
S-shaped, prominent pml meets inner margin close to body.
Three, thin but distinct, very crenulated, inner pm lines.
Subterminal/terminal areas darker than in other species.
Double row of abdominal dots; no abdominal midline.

Greenish shades fade to brown.

Xyloph. staudingeri

Xylophanes cyrene
Fw o. m. concave below apex.
Dominant pm line meets inner margin near midpoint.
Inner post median lines are very weak.
Subterminal line vestigial, without greenish inner shading.
Double row of abdominal dots; no abdominal midline.
Always brownish, never green

Xylophanes anubus anubus

Xylophanes anubus is similar in forewing pattern to several species in the group above, especially X. cyrene, but note absence of dark brown tegulae, which are instead concolorous with rest of thorax and abdomen.

The forewing pm line of anubus is thinner than that of cyrene, and it also meets the inner margin slightly closer to the anal angle.

Beige-brown ground colour with multiple, this oblique lines; red-orange band on hindwing; thin lines run length of abdomen

Xylophanes libya
Fw: first pml double; fourth pml heavier than others.
Usually a black dot in discal cell opposite CuA2.
Black subapical costal spot often present.
Hw: dark brown or black; median band pale orange-pink, parallel sided along most of length, concave proximally between veins M2 and CuA2, not reaching apex or costal margin (sometimes stopping at M1); black marginal band broadest between M2 and CuA2, often distinctly dentate near M2.
Fw and Hw underside: more black and brown than loelia.

Xylophanes loelia

Xylophanes neoptolemus ??
probably replaced by cthulhu

Almost uniform brown ground colour without significant lines or markings.

Xyloph. porcus

Xyl. hannemanni

Xylophanes juanita

Forewings predominantly green.

Xylophanes belti

Xyl. letiranti

Xylophanes crotonis
Tegulae: no pale median line.
Fws, body: olive-green, fading to brown.
Each side of abdomen with basal yellowish-white lateral patch, extending onto metanotum, posterior of which is black patch and distinct yellow stripe.
dorsal lines vestigial or absent. with a series of oblique lines running from the inner margin to the apex; first and fourth postmedian lines generally stronger than the second, third and fifth, which are equal in intensity to the two submarginal lines. Hindwing upperside black; median band comprising a series of teardrop-shaped pale yellow spots.

Xyl. tyndarus

Xylophanes blanca ???
Fw g.c.: dull grey-green.
apex: slightly produced.
O. m.: slightly hollowed out below apex, then quite convex.
Cell spot: small black dot, then small slightly darker oval area.
Only straight 4rth pm line pronounced, slightly preapical.
Other pmls vestigial.
Final line inwardly slightly scalloped, marked by distinct dark dots on veins.
I. m.: pinkish body to pml.
Hw: brownish-black, faint orangey-cream band, suffused w green above & below.
Narrow dark green o. m.. Fringes: greenish (concolorous); darker intrusions along veins.
Extremely similar to rothschildi.
darker green oval patch distal to discal spot smaller.
Postmedian line narrower, arises beyond mid i.m..

Xylophanes ch. nechus
Isla Gorgona, Cauca, June 5, 2011, Humberto Calero Mejia

Prominant, thick, oblique, dark bar running from inner 1/3 of forewing inner margin base to apex

Xylophanes ceratomioides
Fw o.m. slightly scalloped.
Abdomen: three narrow, longitudinal lines; outer lines posteriorly divergent and expanded into triangular spots.
Costa: conspicuous subapical, apical black spots, largest subapical spot triangular with inner point directed basally.
Median area running out to apex: pale brown with scattered black scales on veins; discal spot small, black.
First four pm lines dissipate preapically before reaching costa, weak fifth line runs to apex. First line slightly sinuate.
Second-fourth lines very scalloped near inner margin.
Oblique postmedian band dark with sinuate black lines within it, inner edge slightly undulate, outer edge deeply excavate from CuA2 to just above M3, forming a pale brown, oval patch; marginal area with black vein spots.

Xylophanes jordani

Xylophanes th. thyelia
Xylophanes thyelia has visible characters making it similar to members of the Xylophanes ceratomioides group, but it is a much smaller species.
The forewing upperside is dark brown and buff. There is a short dark line present basal to the first postmedian line, reaching as far as the discal spot. First, second and third postmedian lines arise almost from the wing base and are quite oblique. The first postmedian line reaches to just beyond M1; the second postmedian line reaches Rs4; the third and fourth postmedian lines very narrow and close, sometimes fused for part of their length distally, running from Rs4 to M3, below which they become a diffuse series of minute spots (continuous and distinct below M3 in Xylophanes thyelia salvini).
The area between the second and third postmedian lines, where they overlap, is conspicuously pale. The fifth postmedian line runs from the apex to M3 as a gradually broadening triangular patch. There is an apical area bounded by the costa, fifth postmedian line and Rs4, and the tornal area bounded by M3, the second postmedian line and CuA2, both pale brown and buff, with scattered individual black scales; Rs4, basal to second postmedian line, highlighted with buff over distal half.

Xylophanes titana

Xylophanes turbata

Xylophanes rhodina

Very distinct species, unlikely to be confused with other species.

Xylophanes pistacina
Fw apex slightly produced, pointed.
O. m. hollowed out below apex, evenly convex to anal angle.
G.c. variable: greenish-buff.
Three subparallel am lines, angled at CUA1.
First two pm lines form broadly preapical, prominent, straight, slightly oblique, dark band.
Third pml very faint.
Fourth pml distinct, vein dots.
Fifth pml curved from apex, continuous with greenish olive patch from M2 to M3.

Xylophanes pluto
Tegulae: dark brown edges.
Fw apex slightly produced, pointed.
O. m. hollowed out below apex, evenly convex, smooth or slightly crenulate, to anal angle.
Five subparallel am lines, evenly convex.
First pml thin but distinct, slightly oblique, recurved toward body at costa.
Additional pmls very dentate, less distinct.
Prominent white subapical, basal-median suffusions.<

Xylophanes adalia

Xylophanes germen

Xyl. godmani

Xylophanes maculator

Dentate forewing outer margin

Xylophanes guianensis
Fw o. m. quite scalloped.
Outer abdominal lines not posteriorly divergent.
Fw costa: several conspicuous subapical and apical black spots, more proximate than ceratomioides, the largest subapical spot quadrate.
Pm lines clearly visible within the postmedian area, almost straight, except toward inner edge of wing (not scalloped as in ceratomioides) Most distal antemedian line and most basal postmedian line meet on inner edge of forewing upperside; pale brown excavated area on outer margin of postmedian band narrow (more so than in Xylophanes xylobotes), rectangular and not well defined due to the visible presence within it of the third, fourth and fifth postmedian lines. Pale bands of hindwing upperside intermediate in coloration between those of Xylophanes ceratomioides and Xylophanes xylobotes.

Xylophanes undata

Xyl. zurcheri

Xylophanes t. tersa
wingspan: 60-80mm

Tegulae: strong orange midline.
Abdomen: four strong pale brown lines over orange g. c.,
weaker midline, outer lines.
strong orange lateral bands.

Fw o.m. slightly convex below hollowed out subapical area.
1rst, 2nd pmls fused basally.
3rd, 4rth pmls thin over light background.
5-8th pmls thicker, but weak basally.

Hw pale yellow spots generally elongating toward apex,
more basal closer to margin.
Thin orange suffusion above cream fringe.


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