Manduca diffissa petuniae
Updated as per personal communication with Ezequiel Bustos (Shilap revta. lepid. 43 (172) diciembre, 2015, 615-631 eISSN 2340-4078 ISSN 0300-5267), January 4, 2016

Manduca diffissa petuniae
(Boisduval, [1875]) Protoparce

Manduca diffissa petuniae, Iguazu National Park, Argentina,
September 2007, 90mm, courtesy of Ezequiel Osvaldo Nez Bustos.

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


Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, [1802]
Tribe: Sphingini, Latreille, 1802
Genus: Manduca Hubner, [1807] ...........
Species: diffissa petuniae (Boisduval, [1875])


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Manduca diffissa petuniae flies in
southeastern Brazil (specimen type locality): (Minas Gerais and south: Sao Paulo; Santa Catarina (IK)); and (Roraima (CSM ??)), and possibly in other states; and in
Argentina: Misiones: Iguazu (IK); Yacutinga (EB)
Bolivia ??: Santa Cruz: uflo Chvez, Esperanza; Sarah; Warnes.

I suspect it is subspecies petuniae that flies in Uruguay.

Manduca diffissa petuniae, Yacutinga, Misiones, Argentina,
sent as possible Manduca hannibal hamilcar, courtesy of Ezequiel Osvaldo Nunez Bustos,
"more likely Manduca diffissa petuniae, representing a northerly range extension", Bill Oehlke

Confirmed as M. diffisa petuniae by Ezequiel Osvaldo Nunez Bustos, August 26, 2013.

Ian Kitching writes, "At present (October 2007), the subspecies situation in Manduca diffissa is rather confused.

"Manduca diffissa diffissa is a small grey subspecies from SE Argentina and Uruguay. It might be a separate/distinct species? Rothschild & Jordan listed M. d. diffissa from Paraguay but I suspect these would be better placed as M. d. petuniae (though I have not checked closely).

"Manduca diffissa petuniae is generally (but not always) a pale brown form from SE Brazil as far north as Minas Gerais (and probably in the Iguazu and/or Yacutinga, Argentina area). (It may or may not fly in Bolivia (WO)).

"Manduca diffissa tropicalis is a larger, darker form from Minas Gerais to Colombia. However, to quote R&J: 'The ground colour of the forewing is, however, variable, some individuals being decidedly more russet than others, though not so pale as petuniae'."

"Manduca diffissa mesosa is a form from Salta and Tucuman in northern Argentina (and probably southern Bolivia) that is intermediate between tropicalis and petuniae(!).

"Manduca diffissa zischkai is a high altitude subspecies from Bolivia that may be a separate species.

"Manduca diffissa ssp in eastern Ecuador is decidedly greenish, and the distinction between this and Manduca mossi is difficult to determine and is under study by Jean Haxaire (it was being studied by Jean-Marie Cadiou and me until his untimely passing).

"I doubt that the distinction between mesosa, petuniae and tropicalis will hold, but maybe DNA barcoding will suggest how things should be organized."

CATE: "Forewing upperside with ground colour variable, with paler and darker individuals, but generally more russet than in Manduca diffissa tropicalis; discal and postdiscal lines sharply angled near vein M3, much less smoothly curved than in Manduca sexta; the black and buffish white spots of the fringe nearly equal in size."

Manduca sexta petuniae male, Santa Catarina, Brazil,
CATE, on my home computer only.


Manduca diffissa petuniae adults fly from September-October-December.


Pupae probably wiggle to surface from subterranean chambers just prior to eclosion.


Females call in the males with a pheromone released from a gland at the tip of the abdomen. Adults take nectar from flowers.


Larva have been reported on ??.

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