Xylophanes cyrene

Xylophanes cyrene
zail-AH-fan-eesmm SIGH-ree-nee
(Druce, 1881) Chaerocampa [sic])

Xylophanes cyrene 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: cyrene (Druce, 1881)


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Xylophanes cyrene (wingspan: 76-91 mm) flies in
Panama (specimen type locality);
Costa Rica;
Guatemala: Izabal (JM);
Belize: Cayo, Toledo; and

They are also reported as far south as Oxapampa, Peru. Kitching and Cadiou elevate this moth to full species status in 2000.

Cyrene is decidely brown and flies at lower elevations than the green, montane staudingeri.

"Very similar to Xylophanes amadis but upperside ground colour brownish, even when fresh. Similar to Xylophanes amadis but pale median band always uninterrupted by black streaks along the veins." CATE

The specimens on this page with greenish-grey colouration may be Xylophanes amadis.

Xylophanes cyrene, Trapp Family Lodge, 1Km from Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve,
Costa Rica, June 6th 2005, courtesy of Mark Dennis via Andy Adcock.

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..."

"Xylophanes" sounds like it is from Greek mythology.

Apollo found Cyrene wrestling alone with a lion and carried her off to that part of Libya where in later times he founded a city and named it, after her, Cyrene.

Theretra drucei Kirby, 1892, is the same as Xylophanes cyrene.
Theretra staudingeri Rothschild, 1894, Panama, is also elevated to full species status, Xylophanes staudingeri Kitching and Cadiou 2000.

Xylophanes cyrene male (probably amadis), courtesy of Hubert Mayer copyright.


Xylophanes cyrene adults probably fly continuously in Costa Rica.


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

Xylophanes cyrene 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.

Typical resting pose is displayed to the right.

Images courtesy of Dan Janzen.


Larvae probably feed on Curatella americana of the Dilleniaceae family and Psychotria panamensis and Psychotria grandis of the Rubiaceae family. Early instar larvae are green, but there are green and dark colour morphs in the final instar.

Moths emerge approximately 21-35 days after larvae pupate.

Larvae are susceptible to parasitization by Drino piceiventris and Drino sp. 6 of the Tachinidae family.

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