Xylophanes pistacina
Updated as per http://www.pybio.org/SPHINGINAE.htm (Paraguay), October 2007
Updated as per personal communication with Ezequiel Nunez Bustos (Argentina: Misiones), July 2008
Updated as per "A Hawk Moths fauna of southern Maranhão state, Brazil, ... "; NEVA: Jahrgang 34 Heft 3 November 2013; via Jean Haxaire; April 5, 2014
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 pistacina
(Boisduval, [1875]) Philampelus

Xylophanes pistacina, Paraguay, courtesy of Ulf Drechsel.

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: neoptolemus Boisduval, [1875]


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Xylophanes pistacina moths (wingspan: 75 - 87 mm) fly in Brazil (specimen type locality) and generally from Nicaragua (JH - indicates this species is not taken north of Nicaragua) south to
Brazil: southern Maranhao; west to
Bolivia: La Paz: Murillo, Río Zongo, (750m), Santa Cruz;
Paraguay: San Pedro, Canindeyu, Alto Parana, Cordillera, Paraguari, Caaguazu, Guaira, Caazapa, (probably Itapua (WO??);
Argentina: Misiones (ENB).

Jose Monzon reports it in Guatemala: Izabal.

"Upperside of abdomen without lines. Ground colour greenish-buff, but variable, some individuals much greener. Subbasal and antemedian lines vestigial, the two distal ones forming a band at the apex of discal cell, angled at CuA1; the two proximal postmedian lines more or less merged to form a band, the inner often straight; the third postmedian line very faint; the fourth more distinct and emphasized by vein dots; postmedian lines 2 to 4 dentate; postmedian line 5 curved from the wing apex and continuous with a greenish olive patch from M2 to M3. Brown border broad, less angulate posterior to M2 than in Xylophanes schausi. Pale hindwing band highly suffused with olive-brown." CATE

Xylophanes pistacina male, Costa Rica, courtesy of Dan Janzen.


Xylophanes pistacina adults fly all year in Costa Rica.

Xylophanes pistacina male, courtesy of Hubert Mayer copyright.


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

Xylophanes pistacina 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 in the Rubiaceae plant family.

Xylophanes pistacina larva courtesy of Dan Janzen.

Moths emerge approximately one month from pupation date.

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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.

I have no idea regarding the source of "pistacina".