Manduca pellenia
Updated as per (Belize), November 2007
Updated as per Fauna Entomologica De Nicarauga, November 2007
Updated as per The Known Sphingidae of Costa Rica, November 2007
Updated as per personal communication with Jose Monzon (Guatemala); May 2009
Updated as per CATE (description; location); March 7, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Terry Stoddard (Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, 109mm, 1675m, June 1, 2015); August 15, 2015

Manduca pellenia
(Herrich-Schaffer, [1854]) Chaerocampa

Manduca pellenia male courtesy of Dan Janzen.

This site has been created by Bill Oehlke. 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: pellenia Herrich-Schaffer, 1854


Manduca pellenia (Wing span: (107 - 126 mm)), flies in "Tropical America", given as the specimen type locality. The moth can be found in
Belize: Toledo;
Guatemala: Izabal (JM); Baja Verapaz (TS);
Nicaragua: Jinotega, Rio San Juan;
Costa Rica: Puntarenas, Alajuela, Lemon, Heredia, Guanacaste, San Jose, Carthage; probably
Ecuador: Morona-Santiago: Macas.

I believe the specimen to the right from Yasuni, Ecuador, September 7, 2002 - 2:06 AM, courtesy of Steve Graser is M. pellenia, but it could also be M. scutata scutata.

Antenna almost as stout as in Manduca sexta. Abdomen underside shaded with brown scales, especially in the male. Foretarsus with 1st segment externally with 4 or 5 moderately long spines and numerous small ones above them. No pulvillus. Forewing upperside with discal, black, pubescent patches heavy, forming a band that is strongly angled near vein M3; the oblique, black apical line and the posterior part of the black postdiscal line both very heavy; submarginal zigzag line creamy buff rather than white; the cells between veins M3 and CuP more or less russet between the discal band and postdiscal line. CATE


In Costa Rica there is probably only one generation annually with moths on the wing in from September until November.

Manduca pellenia three males and one female, courtesy of Hubert Mayer.

Manduca pellenia, Los Ranchitos Lodge, 3km S Purulha, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala,
June 1, 2015, 1675m, 109mm, courtesy of Terry Stoddard, id by Bill Oehlke.


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

Manduca pellenia female courtesy of Dan Janzen.


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


Larvae probably feed on plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae).

Dan Janzen specifies Solanum hayesii and Cestrum megalophyllum.

First instar larvae hide on underside mid vein where they are well camouflaged.

Larvae excavate subterranean chambers where they pupate on their backs.

Adults emerge about 38-45 days after pupation.

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Manduca pellenia, Costa Rica, May 21, 2006,
91m, courtesy of Gernot Kunz.

Manduca pellenia, Costa Rica, May 21, 2006,
91m, courtesy of Gernot Kunz.