Macroglossum heliophila (Boisduval, [1875])
(one synonym : Macroglossa kanita Swinhoe, 1892)
MACROGLOSSINAE ,   SPHINGIDAE ,   BOMBYCOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans,
( donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Picture: courtesy of A.R. Pittaway & I.J. Kitching,
The Natural History Museum, London)

This caterpillar can be either green or brown, and has small dark triangles along the back, and a forward-curving tail horn. It has been found feeding on plants from the family RUBIACEAE, including :

  • Dalzell's Psychotia ( Psychotria dalzellii ), and
  • Red Psychotria ( Psychotria rubra ).

    The adult moth is brown with a pale band across each forewing, and broad yellow band across each hindwing.


    drawing by Charles Swinhoe, listed as Macroglossa kanita
    ,
    Catalogue of eastern and Australian Lepidoptera Heterocera in the collection of the Oxford University Museum,
    Sphinges and Bombyces, Part 1 (1892), Plate I, fig. 2,
    image courtesy of Biodiversity Heritage Library, digitized by Smithsonian Libraries.

    The species is found as various subspecies across south-east Asia, including

  • Hong Kong,
  • Indonesia,
  • Taiwan,

    as well as in Australia as the subspecies divergens Walker, 1856, and queenslandi Clark, 1927, in

  • Queensland.


    Further reading :

    Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Dechauffour de Boisduval,
    Macroglossa, Macroglossides,
    Histoire naturelle des insectes,
    Volume 1 (1874), pp. 354-355.

    Charles Swinhoe,
    Sphinges and Bombyces,
    Catalogue of eastern and Australian Lepidoptera Heterocera in the collection of the Oxford University Museum,
    Clarendon Press, Part 1 (1892), p. 5, No. 17, and also Plate 1, fig. 2.


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    (updated 10 December 2005, 18 October 2013, 4 August 2015, 10 February 2016)