Sphingidae of Panama

Amphimoea walkeri courtesy of Paolo Mazzei.

Although I believe these "tribal" checklists contain only species within Panama, there may be omissions. I have composed this list from what I consider to be valid lists for Nicaragua and Venezuela.

I have added (August 28, 2007) Isognathus leachi based on the following image.

Isognathus leachi, Mogue, Darien, Panama, August 25, 2007,
courtesy of Dr. Arthur Anker, STRI.

If you have corrections to offer, please contact
Bill Oehlke at oehlkew@islandtelecom.com.

Linette Mansberger provides the following image from Panama and asked for id cofirmation. My (Bill Oehlke) comments are below the photo.

Adhemarius species??, Bocas del Toro, Bastimentos Island, Panama,
September, 2012, courtesy of Linette Mansberger

To me (Bill Oehlke) your moth is intermediate between Adhemarius gannascus and Adhemarius daphne and Adhemarius fulvescens. The broad, dark antemedian band extends noticeably onto the costa beyond what would be expected for daphne or fulvescens, but does not continue to the full outer edge of the costa as would be expected in gannascus. The dark comma-shaped mark emanating from the costa near the apex is wider than would be expected for gannascus, and is more typical of what one could expect of daphne or fulvescens. Perhaps it is a natural hybrid, perhaps it is an undescribed species. If I had to pick one of the three species mentioned above, I would say a variant of daphne.


Agrius cingulata
Amphimoea walkeri
C. antaeus medor
Cocytius duponchel
Cocytius lucifer
Lintneria merops
Manduca albiplaga
M. diffissa tropicalis
Manduca florestan
Manduca lichenea
Manduca rustica
Manduca sexta paphus


Adhemarius daphne
Adhem. gannascus
Adhemarius palmeri
Adhemarius tigrina
Protambulyx eurycles
Protambulyx goeldii
Protambulyx strigilis


Aellopos titan
Aleuron carinata
Call. calliomenae
Callionima inuus
Callionima nomius
Callionima parce
Enyo lugubris
Enyo ocypete
Enyo taedium
Erinnyis alope
Erinnyis crameri
Erinnyis domingonis
Erinnyis ello
Erinnyis impunctata
Erinnyis lassauxii
Erinnyis obscura
Erinnyis oenotrus
Eupyrrhogl. sagra
Hemeroplanes ornatus
Isognathus caricae
Isognathus leachi
Isognathus scyron
Madoryx bubastus
Madoryx oiclus
Madoryx plutonius
Nyceryx coffaeae
Nyceryx ericea
Nyceryx riscus
Nyceryx stuarti
Nyceryx tacita
Pachygonidia drucei
Pachygonidia hopfferi
Pachygonidia martini
Pachygonidia r. ribbei
Pachygon. subhamata
Pachylia ficus
Pachylia syces
Pachylioides resumens
Perigonia ilus
Perigonia lusca
Perigonia stulta
Pseudosphinx tetrio
Stolidoptera tachasara


Eum. anchemolus
Eum. capronnieri
Eum. fasciatus
Eumorpha labruscae
Eumorpha obliquus
Eumorpha phorbas
Eumorpha satellitia
Eum. triangulum
Eumorpha vitis


Hyles lineata
Xylophanes anubus
X. ceratomioides
X. chiron nechus
Xylophanes crotonis
Xylophanes guianensis
Xyl. letiranti
Xylophanes loelia
X. macu. maculator
Xyloph. neoptolemus
Xylophanes pistacina
Xylophanes pluto
X. por. continentalis
Xylophanes tersa
Xylophanes thyelia
Xylophanes titana
Xylophanes turbata
Xylophanes tyndarus

Pseudosphinx tetrio, Canal Zone, Panama, courtesy of Russell Bean.

Russell made some interesting observations and writes, "Hi, I found your web page when trying to find which caterpillar was eating a tree on the canal causeway in Panama, I have attached a few photos if you wanted to see them or use them, feel free. The caterpillars are all over the tree. I donít think it will last long.

"The two things I still donít know after looking at your web site are 1. Why donít the birds eat and attack them. I have seen them dead on the floor and the birds still donít eat them, are they poisonous? 2. Also what does the spike on the back do, is it a sting or just a distraction tactic so there heads donít get attacked?"

I wrote back, "Thanks for sending pictures. The trees produce a toxic substance which does not harm the caterpillars but is absorbed into their tissues when they feed upon it. The caterpillar then becomes toxic or at least distasteful to birds and other would-be-predators.

The spike at the end is typical of many caterpillars of the Sphingidae family. The spike or anal horn is harmless and might be either a distraction or a perceived threat as you have indicated. There are some caterpillars from other families that have poisonous spines, but not this one.

Generally caterpillars with black, yellow, red colouration carry toxins."

Large numbers of caterpillars can defoliate an entire tree or bush. This usually does not fatally harm the plant provided the defoliation does not happen repeatedly (two or more years in succession).

Pachylia ficus, Canopy Tower, Soberania National Park, Panama, courtesy Jim Swalwell.

Manduca rustica, Gamboa, Panama, November 19th 2006, courtesy Jim Swalwell.

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