Xylophanes belti
Updated as per Catalogo de las Especies de Sphingidae en Honduras, Ana Clariza Samayoa and Ronald D. Cave; December 2009
Updated as per personal communication with Albert Thurman (Chiriqui, Panama, 85mm., July 4-7, 2016); July 26, 2016

Xylophanes belti
zail-AH-fan-eesm BELT-eye or
zye-LAH-fan-eesm BELT-eye
(Druce, 1878) Chaerocampa [sic]


Xylophanes belti male courtesy of Dan Janzen.

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Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.

TAXONOMY:

Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Macroglossinae, Harris, 1839
Tribe: Macroglossini, Harris, 1839
Genus: Xylophanes Hubner [1819] ...........
Species: belti (Druce, 1878)

DISTRIBUTION:

Xylophanes belti [wingspan 85(AT)-90-95 mm, females larger than males] flies in
Nicaragua (specimen type locality);
Costa Rica;
Belize: Cayo, Stann Creek, Toledo;
Mexico;
Honduras: Atlántida, Cortés, Gracias a Dios, Yoro (35m-1600m);
Guatemala: Izabal (JM); and probably throughout most of Central America.

Albert Thurman confirms this species in Chiriqui, Panama.

Xylophanes belti, Finca Hartmann, Santa Clara, Chiriqui, Panama,
85mm, July 4-7, 2016, 1505m, courtesy of Albert Thurman.

Xylophanes belti (verso), Finca Hartmann, Santa Clara, Chiriqui, Panama,
85mm, July 4-7, 2016, 1505m, courtesy of Albert Thurman.

"Rothschild Jordan (1903) referred to Xylophanes belti as “One of the finest species”; certainly cannot be confused with any other species of Xylophanes. Uppersides of forewings, head, thorax and abdomen deep olive green; a stripe from the forewing base to palp, a lateral patch on the abdomen basally and the undersides of the body and wings deep carmine-red. Abdomen with traces of two rows of dorsal dots. Outer spur of midtibia little shorter than inner. Forewing upperside deep olive green, interspaces with a silky blue-grey gloss; three antemedian lines, second and third merged together; postmedian lines indistinct, third and fourth separated by a conspicuous, straight, silky blue-grey line. Median band pale olive green, fading to greenish-buff." CATE

Xylophanes belti, Finca Hartmann, Santa Clara, Chiriqui, Panama,
85mm, July 4-7, 2016, 1505m, courtesy of Albert Thurman.

FLIGHT TIMES:

Xylophanes belti adults have been taken every month (except March) of the year in Costa Rica.

ECLOSION:

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

Xylophanes belti female courtesy of Dan Janzen.

SCENTING AND MATING:

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.

EGGS, LARVAE, PUPAE:

Larvae probably feed on 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.

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 this species, the yellow-orange and brown tones of the forewings suggested wings of wood.

The species name "belti" possibly comes from Belti, a Babylonian goddess of the morning and evening star ‘star of Istar’. She descends, extinguishing all life, into the depths of the underworld, from which she is freed by Ea.

Jean-Michel Maes writes (April 30, 2007), "In the origin of the name, my guess is that it is in honor of Thomas Belt."

Thomas Belt was an English geologist and naturalist who died in 1978. I suspect Jean-Michel is correct.

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