Xylophanes alvarezsierrai

Xylophanes alvarezsierrai
zail-AH-fan-eesmm al-va-rez-see-AIR-uh-eye or
zye-LAH-fan-eesmm al-va-rez-see-AIR-uh-eye
Alvarez Corral, 2001

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Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Macroglossinae, Harris, 1839
Tribe: Macroglossini, Harris, 1839
Genus: Xylophanes Hubner [1819] ...........
Species: alvarezsierrai Alvarez Corral, 2001


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Xylophanes alvarezsierrai moths (forewing length: male 28mm) fly in western Venezuela: Barinas.

Jose Ramon Alvarez writes, May 11, 2007, "Estimado Bill. El Xylophanes alvarezsierrai fué recolectado en (was collected in) una selva nublada (cloud forests) a 1400 m snm en el Estado Barinas al Occidente (western) de Venezuela, en Noviembre de 1996. En años posteriores (In later years) no he recolectado más (no more specimens were collected). La genitalia masculina es diferente a X. tersa tersa. El nombre (The name) se lo dí en honor a mi padre (is to honour my father) el Profesor José Ramón Alvarez Sierra."

Ian Kitching writes, "Similar to Xylophanes tersa tersa but smaller, forewing ground colour dark brown and hindwing median spots orange-red.

"Outer line of tegula greyish (white in Xylophanes tersa tersa); golden median stripe absent. Lateral golden stripes on abdomen with fewer dark rays than Xylophanes tersa tersa. Forewing upperside as Xylophanes tersa tersa but ground colour darker brown, obscuring many of the pattern elements; pale area between third and fourth postmedian lines conspicuous; fourth and fifth postmedian lines, and submarginal lines weakly visible against slightly lighter distal part of the wing.

"Spots of median line of hindwing upperside less sharply defined and separated than in Xylophanes tersa tersa, orange-red in colour (more reddish towards the apex and more yellow towards the anal angle); marginal band dark brown."

As of Dr. Kitching's writing, only a single male specimen was known. The genitalia seem identical to those of X. t. tersa.

Dr. Kitching adds, "This taxon would appear to be simply a melanic form of Xylophanes tersa tersa."

Jose Ramon Alvarez indicates the male genitalia are different from Xylophanes tersa tersa

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 "alvarezsierrai" is honourific for Profesor José Ramón Alvarez Sierra.


The lone specimen was taken in November.




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