Tinostoma smaragditis

Tinostoma smaragditis
(Meyrick, 1899)

Tinostoma smaragditis courtesy of D.J. Preston & A. Heddle, HBS

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: Smerinthinae, Grote & Robinson, 1865
Tribe: Sphingini, Latreille, 1802
Genus: Tinostoma Rothschild & Jordan...........
Species: smaragditis (Meyrick, 1899)


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The Fabulous Green Sphinx of Kauai, Tinostoma smaragditis flies in Hawaii.

This moth is also known as "Wahine Omao", The Green Woman.

"The first specimen of Tinostoma smaragditis ever discovered in Hawaii was found at the turn of the century by a local family who handed it over to Mr. Perkins, the entomologist working in Hawaii for the British Natural History Museum.

He was amazed by the discovery, and despite attempts to locate other specimens was unable to do so. In the 1920s, August Kusche was sent to the Hawaiian islands in search of this, now mythical, animal, and he too failed to locate it.

"A couple of specimens, over the years were discovered by various people, who wondered what it was they had stumbled over. One was found sitting on a can of Cambell's soup after a night camping. Another on the lid of a garbage can in the Kokee region.

"When the tracking station was built in the 1970s, its bright lights attracted various moths from the Kokee area.

Some of these have been the Fabulous Green Sphinx so that we now have around 12 specimens of this moth.

And yet, whenever anyone has hunted it, searched for its larvae, set up lights in the surrounding forest, it has never appeared, remaining an enigma. "

This beautiful, rare moth was rediscovered by Dr. Adam Asquith in January of 1998.


Tinostoma smaragditis adults have been taken in April and May and again from November to January.


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 take nectar from flowers.


Larvae feed on ???

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