Hawkmoths of  Brazil  by Alan Martin

Home Keys Photo gallery Pinned specimens General Information Appendices

1. Xylophanes with multiple forewing lines

1b.  Xylophanes with multiple forewing lines but an undivided         hindwing median band

2. Xylophanes with a medial forewing band

X. tyndarus: bright green when fresh and with longer and narrower forewings than the similar X.marginalis. Note also the longer and straighter apical streak and the more distinct green hindwing postdiscal band.

Wing: 35-45 mm

X. marginalis: green when fresh but smaller than tyndarus with shorter and broader forewings. Note also the short and less distinct apical streak and the forewing submarginal marks.

Wing: 30-39 mm

X. pistacina: greenish-buff compared with the green of the above two species. Note also the more heavily patterned forewings and often the medial band is slightly curved. Note also the smaller postdiscal band on the hindwing which is more yellow than green.

Wing: 30-42 mm

X. anubus: can have a pale greenish tint when fresh. The largest of this group and with broad forewings. The key feature is the distinctive hindwing pattern with 3 black ‘thorns’ but note also the single black dot near the apex on the underwing.

Wing: 39-57 mm

X. indistincta: generally more olive or green (when fresh) than tersa and with a pale cream stripe down the centre of the thorax and abdomen. Note the two parallel dark lines along the forewing that both meet the inner margin.

Wing: 34-41 mm

X. tersa tersa: by far the commonest of this group and note that the lower of the two darker parallel forewing lines stops short of the inner margin. No stripes on the abdomen.

Wing: 27-39 mm

X. titana: boldly striped olive green and cream species with a distinctive double stripe down the centre of the thorax and abdomen.

Wing: 31-47 mm

X. ferotinus: only one specimen exists in the Carnegie museum of a specimen collected in south-east Brazil. It is very similar to X.tersa of which it may simply be an aberrant form.

1a.  Xylophanes with multiple forewing lines and a divided         hindwing median band


See also the Photo Gallery or Pinned Specimens or General Information

X. aglaor: a falcated apex and a series of pale parallel lines above the one darker line along the forewing.

Wing: 32-39 mm

X. loelia: two parallel widely spaced dark lines on the forewing, both which almost meet the inner margin with a series of paler lines between.

Wing: 29-39 mm

X. libya: see pearsoni below. Usually found in Central America, Ecuador and Peru; the historic records of libya in North-east Brazil need to be reviewed and may be of pearsoni.

Wing: 30-40 mm

X. pearsoni: very similar to libya but the pattern is more uniform and the postmedial lines are weaker. The black subapical spot is conspicuous. Only found in North-east Brazil.

Wing: 35-37 mm

X. fosteri: a distinctive broken darker main forewing line, and a notably pale apical area.

Wing: 27-33 mm

X. isaon: dark and heavily striped forewings but the key distinguishing feature is the dark sides to the thorax (the tegula).

Wing: 28-40 mm

X. neoptolemus: the sharply pointed apex and almost red median band on the hindwing are distinctive.

Wing: 31-35 mm

X. hydrata: olive-green when fresh and with a strongly falcated apex.

Wing: 33-41 mm

X. elara: classic specimens have one dominant oblique forewing line which stops short of the apex, whereas hydrata has a number of lines of different width. However it is possible that elara is just a regional variation of hydrata and not a true species.

Wing: 27-37 mm

X. haxairei: appears long-winged and with an extremely falcated apex.

Wing: 35-38 mm

X. undata: the falcated apex and strong crenulations along the outer margin of the forewing are distinctive.

Wing: 33-41 mm

Undescribed species: a potentially new Xylophanes species has been discovered in the Rio Museum collection which has some similarities with X.isaon but with hindwing patterns more similar to X.tersa. The specimen was collected at Teresopolis in the Serra dos Orgaos and will be described and named in due course. This specimen has a forewing length of 33mm.

3. Xylophanes with a broad oblique forewing band

X. crenulata: crenulata has recently been split from X. ceratomioides, but it now appears that only crenulata occurs in Brazil.

Wing: 31-52 mm

X. guianensis: similar to crenulata above, but some differences in the size and shape of the subapical and apical spots, the largest of which is quadrate. Found in the North of Brazil.

Wing: 40-50 mm

X. xylobotes: separated from the above 2 species by the straight central forewing band and the cleaner less marked area above the band.

Wing: 37-48 mm

X. thyelia thyelia: much smaller than the other species in this group and lacking the post-medial band on the hindwing.

Wing: 23-33 mm

4. Xylophanes with a narrow oblique forewing band

X. epaphus: shorter and broader forewings than obscurus and a less well-defined discal spot. The postmedian line runs to the apex unlike in obscurus where it reaches the costa before the apex.

Wing: 29-43 mm

X. obscurus: most similar to cosmius but the forewings are darker and more uniform. The discal spot is also larger than cosmius. The postmedian line reaches the costa before the apex.

Wing: 36-43

X. cosmius: see obscurus above. The apex is more acute than obscurus, the postmedian line reaches the apex and the forewing outer margin is slightly scalloped.

Wing: 34-48

X. amadis: forewing deep green fading to brown with age, apex falcate. The postmedian line is sharply defined and with a pale border.

Wing: 38-50 mm

X. furtadoi: sharply falcate apex and scalloped outer margin of forewing. The postmedian line stops short of the costa. Only reported from Rondonia in northern Brazil.


5. Mostly brown Xylophanes species

X. depuiseti: olive-green when fresh. Much smaller than the others in this group and with shorter forewings.

Wing: 25-30 mm

X. alineae: until recently only X. porcus continentalis occurred in Brazil, but two new species  X. soaresi and X. alineae have now been described and both occur in south and south-east Brazil. Further work is required to classify and identify the other similar species found in the rest of Brazil. X. alineae is smaller than soaresi, is less patterned and has less falcated wings.

X. soaresi: see X. alineae above. It is thought that soaresi occurs at lower altitudes.

X. schausi: greater variation in the colour of the forewings and paler in the subapical area than X.p.continentalis, more rounded forewings and a dark apical streak. Note also the contrast between the darker thorax and the paler abdomen. The subspecies X.s.serenus occurs in northern Brazil and is generally more uniform coloured and with a weaker post discal mark.

Wing: 31-40 mm

X. rufescens: rusty brown with scattered forewing markings.

Wing 34-40

6. Other Xylophanes species

X. chiron nechus: a very common species. The only species which is bright green when fresh with a broad brown band on the forewing. Specimens with a brown ground colour instead of green do occur but are rarer.

Wing: 31-42 mm

X. fusimacula: when fresh the forewing has a green postmedian band and basal and discal patches. Only found in the north of Brazil.

Wing: 36-43 mm

X. pluto: yellowish-green with a broad silver discal band across the forewing and an orange post-medial band on the forewing.

Wing: 29-39 mm

7. Phanoxyla

P. hystrix: unmistakable with its dark streaks and the yellowish postmedian stripe across the inner forewing.

Wing: 39-46 mm

8. Hyles

H. euphorbiarum: very distinctive forewing and hindwing markings, but see Eumorpha fasciatus and vitis.

Wing: 27-40 mm

X.schausi schausi

X.schausi serenus

NOTE: not illustrated

X. lolita: very similar to X. loelia but larger and broader forewings. There have only been 2 specimens collected, both from Minas Gerais in South-east Brazil.