Xylophanes acrus
Updated as per Catalogo de las Especies de Sphingidae en Honduras, Ana Clariza Samayoa and Ronald D. Cave; December 2009

Xylophanes acrus
zail-AH-fan-eesmmACK-ruhs or
Rothschild & Jordan, 1910

Xylophanes acrus male 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: Macroglossinae, Harris, 1839
Tribe: Macroglossini, Harris, 1839
Genus: Xylophanes Hubner [1819] ...........
Species: acrus Rothschild & Jordan, 1910


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Xylophanes acrus moths [wingspan 72-83 mm, females larger than males] fly in
Panama (specimen type locality);
Costa Rica; and
Honduras: Atlantido.

"Very similar to Xylophanes cyrene but generally somewhat more greenish and without the pinkish tint of that species. Very similar to Xylophanes cyrene but the three thin postmedian lines basal to the single prominent postmedian line heavier and distinctly crenulated, especially the most distal line (poorly defined and evenly curved in Xylophanes cyrene), and the submarginal line of vein spots often linked by a crenulated line (missing in some specimens)." CATE


Xylophanes acrus adults have been taken every month of the year in Costa Rica. There is a record for May in Honduras at elevation of 175m.


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

Xylophanes acrus female courtesy of Dan Janzen.


Females call in the males with a pheromone released from a gland at the tip of the abdomen. Males come in to lights very readily, but females are seldom taken in that way.

Xylophanes acrus male, courtesy of Hubert Mayer copyright.


Larvae feed on Psychotria chiriquina, Psychotria monteverdensis, Psychotria panamensis and Psychotria nervosa of the Rubiaceae family and on Pavonia guanacastensis of the Malvaceae family.

Moths emerge approximately one-two months after larvae pupate.

Larvae and pupa, Costa Rica, courtesy of Dan Janzen.

PPU III is dark green with brown rhomboids on the back, black false eyes with with brown ring and also blue and yellow, PU caterpillar is quite similar to Xylophanes hannemanni but the colors in the eye blur one into the other; last instar looks like Xylophanes anubus but has a bit of blue in the yellow ring at the top of the false eye.

Larvae are subject to parasitization by Hyphantrophaga sp. 10 of the Tachinidae family.

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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.

Jean Marie Cadiou writes, "When I say "Xylophanes" in English I pronounce it something like "Zailophanees", with the emphasis on the "o". The French pronounce it differently, something like "Kzeelophaness" with no emphasis, and the Germans yet in a different way..."

In Greek myth, Phanes is the golden winged Primordial Being who was hatched from the shining Cosmic Egg that was the source of the universe. He personifies light emerging from chaos.

"Xylo" is the Greek word for wood.

The specimen type for the genus Xylophanes is Xylophanes anubus. Perhaps ? when Hubner examined that species, the yellow-orange and brown tones of the forewings suggested wings of wood.

The species name "acrus" might refer to the sharp forewing tips of this species.