Hyles wilsoni
Updated as per http://sphingidae.myspecies.info/taxonomy/term/5698; March 16, 2017

Hyles wilsoni
HYE-leezM WILL-suhn-eye
(Rothschild, 1894)
Wilson's Sphinx

Hyles wilsoni male, Volcano, Puna District, Hawaii
http://sphingidae.myspecies.info/taxonomy/term/1352, Creative Commons

This site has been created by Bill Oehlke. Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.


Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Macroglossinae, Harris, 1839
Tribe: Macroglossini, Harris, 1839
Genus: Hyles Hubner, [1819] ...........
Species: wilsoni (Rothschild, 1894)


The Wilson's Sphinx, Hyles wilsoni (Wing span: 65-75mm) flies only on Hawaii's Big Island.

This moth is very similar to Hyles perkinsi, but H. wilsoni has dark brown (not greenish grey) forewings, and the hindwing is orange (not pink) with narrower borders. The bands on the abdomen are also orange (not white).

Wiki "In wet districts the moth is freely on the wing at all hours of the day, visiting the flowers of Metrosideros, as well as those of cultivated plants. In drier localities it flies more freely at dusk."


"Seasonal fluctuation in relative abundance of the endemic hawk moth Hyles wilsoni wilsoni (Rothschild) was determined in its natural habitat, the Olaa rain forest (1200 m elevation, 2157 mm average total precipitation/year), Island of Hawaii, using a light trap (fluorescent black-light tube, 10 watts) operated daily from July 1992 until July 1993. The moth was widespread during August, November and December of 1992, and from February to April of 1993. Moth catch per night peaked in November (0.41 moth/night, mean temperature 16.5C), February (0.53 moth/night, 14.1C), and April (0.38 moth/night, 15.8C). This study indicates that H. wilsoni wilsoni is not as abundant as previously recorded.

"Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States "Appears in Collections: Volume 35 - May 2001 : Hawaiian Entomological Society"


Hyles wilsoni female, Volcanoes NP, Hawaii
http://sphingidae.myspecies.info/taxonomy/term/1352, Creative Commons



Wiki "Larvae have been recorded on Acacia koa, Bobea, Euphorbia, Metrosideros, Pelea and Straussia."

Those who first published descriptions and assigned scientific names to many insects, simply chose names of biblical or mythological origin without any real descriptive qualities. Their purpose was simply to set a standard for purposes of identification by assigned name. On some occasions, names, mostly of Latin or Greek origin, were chosen to signify a particular character of the genus or of an individual species.

In Greek mythology, Hyles is one of the centaur warriors who fights against the lapiths.

The species name, "wilsoni", is honourific for Wilson.

The pronunciation of scientific names is troublesome for many. The "suggestion" at the top of the page is merely a suggestion. It is based on commonly accepted English pronunciation of Greek names and/or some fairly well accepted "rules" for latinized scientific names.

The suggested pronunciations, on this page and on other pages, are primarily put forward to assist those who hear with internal ears as they read.

There are many collectors from different countries whose intonations and accents would be different.

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