Sphingidae of Puerto Rico

Xylophanes chiron chiron courtesy of Paolo Mazzei.

Although I believe these "tribal" checklists contain only species within Puerto Rico, there are probably some omissions, and there may be a few improper entries.

The list should be fairly reliable, however, as it is from Pierre Schmit's Liste Systématique for the Dominican Republic.

If you have corrections to offer, please contact
Bill Oehlke at oehlkew@islandtelecom.com.

Agrius cingulata
Cocytius antaeus
Cocytius cluentius
Cocytius duponchel
M. brontes haitiensis
Manduca caribbeus
Manduca johanni
M. quinquemacul. *
Manduca rustica *
M. rustica cubana
M. sexta jamaicensis
Nannoparce poeyi
Sphinx tricolor

Protamb. strigilis

Aellopos blaini*
Aellopos fadus*
Aellopos tantalus
Call. calliomenae
Call. denticulata
Callionima falcifera
Callionima parce
Enyo lugubris
Enyo ocypete
Erinnyis alope
Erinnyis crameri*
Erinnyis domingonis
Erinnyis ello
Erinnyis guttularis
Erinnyis lassauxii
Erinnyis obscura
Erinnyis oenotrus*
Eupyrrhoglos. sagra
Isognathus rimosa
I. rimosus moliter
Madoryx oiclus*
Pachylia ficus
Pachylio. resumens
Perigonia caryae
Perigonia glaucescens
Perigonia lefebraei
Perigonia lusca*
Perigonia manni
Phryxus caicus
Pseudosphinx tetrio*
Eumorpha fasciatus
Eumorpha labruscae
Eumorpha strenua
Eumorpha vitis

C. noctuiformis*
Hyles lineata
X. chiron chiron*
X. chiron nechus
X. clarki
Xylophanes pluto*
Xylophanes porcus
Xyloph. rhodocera
Xylophanes tersa*

Pseudosphinx tetrio, Puerto Rico, courtesy of Brian M. Irish.

Brian writes, "I found many of them devouring a purple allamanda and also on a large tree (Bombaceae) on the USDA Tropical Agricultural Research Station grounds in Mayaguez, west coast of Puerto Rico."

Brian M. Irish, Horticulturist/Genetecist, Tropical Agricultural Research Station, Mayaguez, PR 00680

Pseudosphinx tetrio, Luquillo, Puerto Rico, courtesy of Ruby Rodriguez.

Ruby writes, "We have these in our front yard in Luquillo, northeast coast of Puerto Rico, all the time feeding. About every other month they clean one of my flowered trees (Plumeria cujete) bare. Then they disappear and reappear once the tree flourishes again. I always wanted to know what they were, so your site has very helpful. I hope you enjoy the pictures."

Pseudosphinx tetrio larva, San Juan, north central coastal PR,
March 19, 2008, courtesy of Eric Johnson.

Yanira Lavergne writes, July 24, 2011, "Hello. I live in Puerto Rico ... and I thought I'd share some great shots I took of this caterpillar. I think it's Pseudosphinx tetrio (after doing some research) and also wanted to know if it is harmful to us or something. since I have a very large yard and mango tress and avocado tress all around plus two small daughters .... and I'm curious about them because I have spotted about seven already on the property. If you have time, a reply would be cool. Have a nice day!"

I reply, "As long as the small children do not try to eat the caterpillars there should be no harm done."

However, a large number of them can defoliate your trees.

Mature Sphingidae larvae leave the host plant and seek out soft earth where they can excavate a subterranean chmber in which to pupate.

I think Pseudosphinx tetrio is probably a very common species in Peurto Rico, based on the numerous sighting reports I have received. Maybe it is just the very large size and striking colouration (a warning to birds: toxic if eaten) that gets them attention.

Pseudosphinx tetrio, fifth instar, Puerto Rico,
July 24, 2011, courtesy of Yanira Lavergne.

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