Xylophanes chiron lucianus

Xylophanes chiron lucianus
zail-AH-fan-eesmm KYE-ronmm loo-see-AHN-uhs
Rothschild & Jordan, 1906

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Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Macroglossinae, Harris, 1839
Tribe: Macroglossini, Harris, 1839
Genus: Xylophanes Hubner [1819] ...........
Species: chiron lucianus (Rothschild & Jordan 1906)


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Xylophanes chiron lucianus is very common in Guadeloupe and Martinique, in hygrophilic and mesophilic zones and is probably the most abundant hawk-moth in Guadeloupe. This subspecies also flies in St-Kitts and throughout the Lesser Antilles (not in dry islands). It is also recorded from Martinique, La Trinité, Presqu'île de la Caravelle.

St. Lucia is the specimen type locality.

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 "chiron" comes from Greek mythology where Chiron is the wise centaur who tutors Achilles, Hercules and Asclepius. The subspecies name is for the specimen type locality, St. Lucia.


Xylophanes chiron lucianus probably broods continuously.



Females call in the males with a pheromone released from a gland at the tip of the abdomen. The females do come in to lights but not nearly as often as the males.


Larvae feed on Psychotria berteriana, Psychotria correae, Psychotria microdon and Hamelia patens and Palicourea and Palicourea species in the Rubiaceae family.

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