Hawkmoths of  Brazil  by Alan Martin

Home Keys Photo gallery Pinned specimens General Information Appendices

To my knowledge there have been 189 species of sphingidae (hawkmoths) recorded in Brazil to date, and this website has been designed to help in their identification. Simple keys that highlight the differences between similar species are used, supported by photographs (where available) of live specimens and photographs of museum specimens. 18 of these species are endemic to Brazil.

The species included have been selected by searching through published papers and other information available on the internet, regular visits to the Natural History Museums in both Rio de Janeiro and London, plus information provided by both Dr Ian Kitching and Jean Haxaire. However I would be delighted to hear from anyone who believes that additional species have been recorded in Brazil, and also delighted to receive any additional photographs and information on those species that are poorly represented on the website.


At least partly due to the lack of good identification guides, the study of hawkmoths in the neotropics has been mostly confined to professional lepidopterists who have access to museum or private collections. However in 2011 ‘A Guide to the Hawkmoths of the Serra dos Orgaos’ was published by Alan Martin, Alexandre Soares and Jorge Bizarro and this book formed the basis on which this website has been developed. The book owes much to the work of the late Henry Pearson (1911-2004), an English amateur naturalist who lived and worked in Rio from 1943, and who donated his extensive collection and data to the National Museum (UFRJ). Since 2004 regular moth recording at the Reserva Ecologica de Guapiacu (REGUA), which is located in the heart of the Serra dos Orgaos near the town of Cachoeiras de Macacu, has added to our knowledge of the hawkmoths of that area and has been the source of many of the photographs included in this website.


Unfortunately a few errors crept into the book, and there have been a number of taxonomic changes since its publication, but these have been corrected on this website and are listed in an addendum. However this website is much more ambitious than the book, and covers all the 189 species and their subspecies that are known to occur in Brazil.


How to use this website

On the right of this page is a list of the genera that occur in Brazil, and if you click on any of these you will be taken to a page that groups the similar species within that genera and provides information that will assist in their identification. From this key you can then move either to the photos of live specimens, photos of museum pinned specimens or additional information which includes the known species range. Alternatively you can go direct to the appropriate pages from the Navigation Bar at the top of each page.


For beginners who don’t know which genera to look at, there is a starter’s key that shows photographs of typical species from each of the 11 Keys.


When looking at the pinned specimens it should be noted that the colours do fade with time, and green is especially prone to fading. There are also noticeable differences between newly emerged and older live specimens, so it is more important to concentrate on the variations in patterns and shape rather than colouration. Even then there will be some specimens that cannot be identified for sure without internal examination, but these techniques are outside the scope of this website. Recent DNA bar-coding work is also challenging the status of a few of these species and separating new ones, so further changes are inevitable.


The references section in the Appendices list some other useful websites that should be used to supplement the information provided here, but by far the most comprehensive is the remarkable Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory (STI) website (www.sphingidae.myspecies.info) which not only covers all the sphingids of South America but of every continent.


Acknowledgements

This website would not be possible without the help of my co-authors of the Hawkmoths of the Serra dos Orgaos book, Alexandre Soares and Jorge Bizarro. I would also like to thank the staff of the Entomology Department of the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) for granting access to the sphingidae collection, Dr Ian Kitching of the Department of Life Sciences in the London Natural History Museum for his invaluable help and advice, and to Jean Haxaire who has always been willing to share his extensive knowledge of South American sphingids. Most of the photos of pinned specimens were taken in the Rio Museum but a few were taken at the NHM in London and they are clearly labelled and are covered by the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike License. Thanks are also due to all those who have sent me their photos and records, or have allowed me to copy photos from their own websites and databases.


Any errors on this website are entirely my own and should be notified to alanjmart@gmail.com so that they can be corrected.

Tribe

Genera

No

Ambulycini

Protambulyx

5


Adhemarius

6


Orecta

2

Sphingini

Manduca

29


Cocytius

6


LIntneria

1


Amphimoea

1


Neococytius

1


Neogene

4


Agrius

1

Dilophonotini

Pachygonidia

3


Enyo

5


Aleuron

6


Unzela

2


Callionima

8


Madoryx

3


Pachylia

3


Pachylioides

1


Oryba

2


Hemeroplanes

3


Nyceryx

12


Baniwa

1


Perigonia

7


Eupyrrhoglossum

2


Aellopos

5


Pseudosphinx

1


Isognathus

10


Erinnyis

7


Phryxus

1


Eumorpha

13

Macroglossini

Xylophanes

36


Phanoxyla

1


Hyles

1


TOTAL

189

This website has been designed and created by Alan Martin using Serif WebPlus X8 software. All the images are copyrighted and should not be downloaded without written permission.                                                          Last updated 13th September 2016