Xylophanes zurcheri

Xylophanes zurcheri
zail-AH-fan-eesmm ZUR-cher-eye
(Druce, 1894) Calliomma

Xylophanes zurcheri 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 Boisduval, 1852 ...........
Species: zurcheri (Druce, 1894)


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Xylophanes zurcheri, [wingspan males: 76mm, females: larger than males] flies in
Costa Rica: Cartago (BF);
Guatemala: Izabal; and north to
Belize: Toledo; and south to at least
Ecuador: Esmeraldas: Rio Chuchuvi (Vadim Kroutov).

Xylophanes zurcheri male, Rio Chuchuvi, Esmeraldas, Ecuador,
76mm, courtesy of Vadim Kroutov.

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.

The species name "zurcheri" is likely an honorific name for a collector or colleague named Zurcher.


Xylophanes zurcheri adults fly in April-May-June and October (BF) in Costa Rica.

Xylophanes zurcheri, Rancho Naturalista Lodge, Cartago, Costa Rica,
October 24, 2007, 900m, courtesy of Brian Fletcher, id by Bill Oehlke.


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


Females call in the males with a pheromone released from a gland at the tip of the abdomen.

Xylophanes zurcheri female courtesy of Dan Janzen.

Xylophanes zurcheri female, courtesy of Hubert Mayer copyright.


Larvae feed on plants in the Rubiaceae family: Psychotria eurycarpa, Psychotria panamensis, Psychotria berteriana, Psychotria correae, Psychotria pittieri, Palicourea salicifolia.

Larvae show both green and brown forms.

Images courtesy of Dan Janzen.

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