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)