Xylophanes crotonis
Updated as per personal communication with Pia oberg (Wildsumaco Lodge, Napo, Ecuador, February 27, 2011, 1400m): November 30, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Jose Ramon Alvarez Corral (91mm, Merida, Venezuela, March 2001, 2050m); May 27, 2012
Updated as per personal communication with Ezequiel Bustos (Shilap revta. lepid. 43 (172) diciembre, 2015, 615-631 eISSN 2340-4078 ISSN 0300-5267), January 4, 2016

Xylophanes crotonis
(Walker, 1856) Chaerocampa [sic]

Xylophanes crotonis courtesy of Paolo Mazzei.

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: crotonis Walker, 1856


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Xylophanes crotonis (wingspan: males: 86-94mm; females: 100mm] flies in
Costa Rica;
and probably in Panama and in
Venezuela the specimen type locality (Merida (JRAC);
and south to
Ecuador: Napo (PO);
Peru: Amazonas (BC) and probably throughout Peru; and
Bolivia: La Paz: Murillo, Zongo Cuticucho; Zongo-Pacollo; Cochabamba: Chapare, Alto Palmar, (1100m); Chapare, Yunga del Espíritu Santo; and
Argentina: Jujuy; Salta.

Choerocampa aristor Boisduval, 1870, Guatemala, is the same as Xylophanes crotonis.
Chaerocampa hotulanus Schaufuss, 1870, Venezuela, is the same as Xylophanes crotonis.
Chaerocampa viridescens Butler, 1875, Colombia, is the same as Xylophanes crotonis.
Theretra virescens Kirby, 1892, ?, is the same as Xylophanes crotonis.

Xylophanes crotonis, 91mm, Merida, Venezuela,
March 2001, 2050m, courtesy of Jose Ramon Alvarez Corral.

Xylophanes crotonis, 91mm, verso, Merida, Venezuela,
March 2001, 2050m, courtesy of Jose Ramon Alvarez Corral.

Xylophanes crotonis ??, Wildsumaco Lodge, Napo, Ecuador,
February 27, 2011, 1400m, courtesy of Pia Oberg.

"Tegulae usually without a pale median line. Upperside of body and forewings varying from olive-green (fading to brown). Each side of abdomen with a basal yellowish-white lateral patch that extends onto the metanotum, posterior of which is a black patch and a distinct yellow stripe; dorsal lines vestigial or absent; spines along posterior edges of posterior tergites uniseriate, single, heavy, conical. Outer spur of midtibia longer than inner. Colour of body and forewing varying from tawny to ochre-yellow. Forewing upperside olive-green (fading to pale brown), with a series of oblique lines running from the inner margin to the apex; first and fourth postmedian lines generally stronger than the second, third and fifth, which are equal in intensity to the two submarginal lines. Hindwing upperside black; median band comprising a series of teardrop-shaped pale yellow spots." CATE

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 "crotonis" might be from the Greek, Croton, a former Greek town in southern Italy.


Xylophanes crotonis adults fly in every month of the year in Costa Rica. Jose Ramon Alvarez Corral reports a March flight in Merida, Venezuela.


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

Xylophanes crotonis 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.


Larvae feed on Psychotria correae, Palicourea padifolia, Palicourea salicifolia, Coussarea austin-smithii, Coussarea caroliana and probably other members of the Rubiaceae family. Rottboellia cochinchinensis of the Poaceae family also serves as a host. Larvae are green without eyespots in second instar. There is a turquoise color morph. Another variation is purplish with yellow dots all over, and a yellow lateral line, white angled slashes on sides, and a purple tail.

Eclosions from pupae occur about six weeks after pupation.

Larvae are subject to parasitization by Chetogena scutellaris of the Tachinidae family.

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