I have added (August 28, 2007) Isognathus leachi based on the following image.
Isognathus leachi, Mogue, Darien, Panama, August 25, 2007,
courtesy of Dr. Arthur Anker, STRI.
Linette Mansberger provides the following image from Panama and asked for id cofirmation. My (Bill Oehlke) comments are below the photo.
Adhemarius species??, Bocas del Toro, Bastimentos Island, Panama,
September, 2012, courtesy of Linette Mansberger
Eumorpha capronnieri, Cerro Chucanti, Darien, Panama,
August 22-24, 2012, courtesy of Albert Thurman.
Albert writes (July 26, 2016) concerning Xylophanes belti, "I've been collecting it at Finca Hartmann in Chiriqui Province, probably for 40 years. I checked the Sphinx moth list from the Mississippi Entomological Museum and it's not on that list, either. John MacDonald, the man who prepared that list and gave it to me so I could give it to you, has also collected X. belti in Panama at the same location.
John has been my assistant on almost all of my Panama entomology research trips since 2009 (over 15 trips), and it was his hard work that created that list, mostly from specimens he collected there."
I have indicated the additions to the list with MEM. The entire listing from the museum is available via the following link: Mississippi Entomology Museum.
Many thanks to Tony James who has recently (May 2015) sent me quite a few images with data from Panama: Panama: Gamboa and Radisson.
List of Sphingidae from Panama
Pseudosphinx tetrio, Canal Zone, Panama, courtesy of Russell Bean.
Russell made some interesting observations and writes, "Hi, I found your web page when trying to find which caterpillar was eating a tree on the canal causeway in Panama, I have attached a few photos if you wanted to see them or use them, feel free. The caterpillars are all over the tree. I donít think it will last long.
"The two things I still donít know after looking at your web site are 1. Why donít the birds eat and attack them. I have seen them dead on the floor and the birds still donít eat them, are they poisonous? 2. Also what does the spike on the back do, is it a sting or just a distraction tactic so there heads donít get attacked?"
I wrote back, "Thanks for sending pictures. The trees produce a toxic substance which does not harm the caterpillars but is absorbed into their tissues when they feed upon it. The caterpillar then becomes toxic or at least distasteful to birds and other would-be-predators.
The spike at the end is typical of many caterpillars of the Sphingidae family. The spike or anal horn is harmless and might be either a distraction or a perceived threat as you have indicated. There are some caterpillars from other families that have poisonous spines, but not this one.
Generally caterpillars with black, yellow, red colouration carry toxins."
Large numbers of caterpillars can defoliate an entire tree or bush. This usually does not fatally harm the plant provided the defoliation does not happen repeatedly (two or more years in succession).
Pachylia ficus, Canopy Tower, Soberania National Park, Panama, courtesy Jim Swalwell.
Manduca rustica, Gamboa, Panama, November 19th 2006, courtesy Jim Swalwell.
Xylophanes pluto, Canopy Lodge, El Valle de Anton, Panama,
November 2011, courtesy of Elliotte Rusty Harold.
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