Updated as per The Hawk Moths of the North America, 2007, James P. Tuttle (Sphinx to Lintneria); April 2009
Updated as per CATE; April 2009
Updated as per personal communication with James P. Tuttle (Costa Rica specimen collected 2008); April 2009

Lintneria biolleyi
(Schaus, 1912) Sphinx

Sphinx biolleyi courtesy of Dan Janzen.

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


Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, 1802
Tribe: Sphingini, Latreille, 1802
Genus: Lintneria Butler, 1876 ...........
Species: biolleyi (Schaus, 1912)


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Lintneria biolleyi (Wing span: 90mm) flies in Costa Rica (possibly now extinct there; not so; specimen collected in Costa Rica 2008) and Guatemala: Suchitepequez; Sacatepequez; Huehuetenango; Baja Verapaz.

"The holotype specimen from Costa Rica is the only Costa Rican specimen known (extinct?), photograph courtesy of I. Kitching at The Natural History Museum (London), compare with Sphinx merops found throughout lowland Costa Rica, Sphinx biolleyi apparently occurs in Guatemala as a breeding population." A specimen was taken in mountains near San Jose, Costa Rica in 2008.

"Similar to Lintneria lugens, but differing in the details of pattern.

"Frons brown, vertex brown, shaded black posteriorly; collar black dorsally, laterally edged with a black line that continues to the tips of the patagia, and with a lateral brown and white colouration. Patagia and thorax upperside reddish brown, mottled with a few whitish scales.Abdomen upperside with a basal light brown tuft, with subdorsal black spots, and with alternating broad black and narrow white bands; two dorsal grey lines diverge and broaden towards the anal segments.

"Palpi brown, fringed with white basally. Abdomen underside white, with black ventral points.

"Forewing upperside brown, speckled with pale buff; a basal, double antemedian, median and postmedian angled black spots along the costa; black and white tufts at the base of the hind margin; an antemedian patch of pinkish buff scales posterior to the discal cell, cut by a fine black line; discal cell with a black streak, produced beyond the cell; black intervenosal streaks posterior to veins M1, M3 CuA1; a convex postmedian fuscous band, with distal to it an indistinct, fine, fuscous, dentate line; a convex series of submarginal, angled, black lines between the veins; black apical line to vein M1, interrupted at vein Rs4; some small marginal black spots. "Hindwing upperside largely black, with a antemedial whitish line curving basad at costal and hind margins, and a sinuous white postmedian band; fringe white, spotted with black." CATE

In his The Hawk Moths of North America, 2007, James P. Tuttle has assigned all the Sphinx genus species from Mexico south throughout South American to Lintneria, Butler, 1876, based on consistent differences in wing characters and significant larval differences.


Lintneria biolleyi adults fly in April-May in Guatemala.


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 probably nectar at a variety of flowers.


Please visit my special request for images of Lintneria species larvae at Lintneria larvae, and help if you can.

It is anticipated that the Lintneria larvae will most often be encountered on Lamiaceae: Salvia (Sage), Mentha (Mints), Monarda (Beebalm) and Hyptis (Bushmints); Verbenaceae: Verbena and Lantana camara (shrub verbenas or lantanas).

Although they may be encountered feeding during daylight hours, one is even more likely to discover them feeding in the evening or after dark.

Two of the greatest clues for discovering larvae are stripped foliage and droppings beneath the plant. You might be quite surprised at what will turn up in the evening or after dark in a flashlight assisted search.

It is believed that all "Lintneria larvae will exhibit "a fleshy thoracic dorsal "horn" in the first 4 instars (unique in the Sphingidae of the world to my knowledge) which is replaced by a thoracic dorsal "hump" with a large black patch in the 5th instar." J.A. Tuttle.

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