Callionima parce parce
Updated as per (Belize), November 2007
Updated as per Fauna Entomologica De Nicarauga, November 2007
Updated as per The Known Sphingidae of Costa Rica, November 2007
Updated as per Erin Brandt image (Mato Grosso), March 2008
Updated as per personal communication with Jose Monzon (Guatemala); May 2009
Updated as per personal communication with Ezequiel Bustos (Aguas Blancas, Salta, Argentina, 405m); December 2009
Updated as per Sphingidae (Lepidoptera) de Venezuela, Compilado por: María Esperanza Chacín; December 2009
Updated as per personal communication with Ezequiel Nunez Bustos (Osununu Private Reserve, Misiones, Argentina, November 24, 2009); December 2009
Updated as per personal communication with Larry Valentine (Itanhandu, Minas Gerais, Brazil, April 23, 2011, 925m); April 26, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Andres Urbas (Camp Caiman near kaw, French Guiana, march 31, 2011); May 7, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Larry Valentine (Itanhandu, Minas Gerais, Brazil, July 15, 2011, 925m); August 1, 2012

Callionima parce parce ??
Parce Sphinx Moth

Callionima parce parce by Paolo Mazzei.

This site has been created by Bill Oehlke at
Comments, suggestions and/or additional information are welcomed by Bill.


Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Macroglossinae, Harris, 1839
Tribe: Dilophonotini, Burmeister, 1878
Genus: Callionima Lucas, 1857 ...........
Species: parce parce Fabricius, 1775


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The Parce Sphinx Moth, Callionima parce parce (Wing span: 2 5/8 - 3 1/8 inches (6.7 - 8 cm)), flies in Brazil, (specimen type locality) and throughout Venezuela, north through Central America,
Belize: Corozol, Orange Walk, Cayo, Stann Creek, Toledo;
Guatemala (JM);
Nicaragua: Nueva Segovia, Managua, Chontales, Zelaya;
Costa Rica: Puntarenas, Guanacaste, Lemon, Heredia, San Jose, Alajuela;
to south Florida, South Texas, southern Arizona, and southern California.

It is probably widespread in South America:
Venezuela: Amazonas, Anzoategui, Apure, Aragua, Barinas, Bolivar, Carabobo, Distrito Federal, Falcon, Lara, Miranda Portuguesa, Tachira, Trujillo, Yaracuy;
French Guiana: Kaw;
Brazil: Roraima, Amazonas, Para, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais: Itanhandu (925m, LV);
Bolivia: Beni, La Paz, Santa Cruz;
Argentina: Salta (405m EB), Misiones (November 24, 2009 (EB)).

I suspect it probably also flies in Colombia.

Callionima parce, Kaw, French Guiana,
courtesy of Andres Urbas.

Callionima parce, Itanhandu, Minas Gerais, Brazil,
April 23, 2011, 925m, courtesy of Larry Valentine.

Callionima parce (verso), Itanhandu, Minas Gerais, Brazil,
April 23, 2011, 925m, courtesy of Larry Valentine.

Callionima parce, Itanhandu, Minas Gerais, Brazil,
July 15, 2012, 925m, courtesy of Larry Valentine.

"Forewing upperside with a curved pale oblique apical line, expanding at M1 into a pale patch that curves back up the outer edge of the apical line towards the apex, resulting in the area between the outer margin and the apical line being paler that the area immediately basal to the apical line." CATE

Callionima parce Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Mato Grosso, Brazil, courtesy of Erin Brandt.

Callionima parce, Osununu Private Reserve, Misiones, Argentina,
November 24, 2009, courtesy of Ezequiel Nunez Bustos.

The upperside of the forewing is orange-brown with paler patches and a large silvery spot at the end of the cell. The upperside of the hindwing is reddish-orange.

Sphinx licastus, Cramer, 1782, Surinam, is same as Callionima parce parce.
Sphinx galianna, Burmeister, 1856, Brazil, is same as Callionima parce parce
Hemeroplanes parthenope, Zikan, 1935, Brazil, is same as Callionima parce parce.


Callionima parce parce adults fly continuously and specimens have been taken in every month in Costa Rica.

In the United States, the Parce Sphinx Moth flies from April-September in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and southern California. Larry Valentine has reported them in April and late July in Itanhandu, southeastern Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Callionima parce, Pook's Hill Reserve, Cayo District,
June 23, 2006, courtesy of Brant Reif.


Adults eclose from pupae formed in flimsy cocoons among leaf litter.

Females are generally active from 10:30 pm unitl 2:00 am, while males are on the wing from 11:30 pm until 3:00 am.

Callionima parce parce female courtesy of Dan Janzen.

It is very difficult to determine species from spread specimens without collecting times. See the diverse opinions of several very experienced Sphingidae experts below:

Vernon A. Brou indicates "the above specimen (female) is not parce, and the first image (male) may or may not be parce and that the species pictured in Hodges is not parce and the species listed in Brown is not parce; both of these specimens pictured by these two authors are 2 different species also. Species pictured in Hollands Moth book as parce is still a third species not parce and species pictured in the sphingidae of Cuba (Munoz & Dalmau) is not parce. Quite probably all of these species I mention here are different from each other and none are parce.

"Furthermore, the genitalia pictured in R & J World Revision of Sphingidae is different from the genitalia of all the other so called parce species I have mentioned here.

"15 years ago I studied over 600 specimens of Callionima including numerous genitalia preparations and discovered this situation. I do have a photo of what I beleive is true C. parce. If interested I can try to locate it among my files. Let me say to truly resolve this matter will require comparison of the type specimen of parce. Furthermore, the genus obviously needs a major revision as there are numerous synonomies in error in the literature and most probably several new undescribed species among the genus. I really doubt that the species you and others list as occurring in Florida is the same species found in the west to California. All of these records are apparent migrating singletons that have made appearances into the US over many years. "

Jean Haxaire writes, "I was on your website.

"I was looking at the Callionima parce page.

"In fact the distinction between parce and falcifera is clear since the work of F.F. YEPEZ in Maracay, Rancho Grande, and the work of GARCIA at the same place. When my friends KITCHING & CADIOU write about the flight time, they mention that study. I was in Rancho Grande with Yepez at that time.

"They notice that the two species fly together, one before midnight and the other one after midnight. This is true; I observed this distinction during two months of collecting. First they called the redder and more falcate species, flying after midnight "elainae", and they refered to the browner and less falcate species flying ealier as parce.

"In fact, falcifera has the priority (over elainae), and now we all use that name. So in your page, the two pictures are parce, and only the one from Mexico is falcifera, a splendid female.

"Dan Janzen's picture is of a true parce. See the work of SOARES on that group. On Hodges, we all know that he depicts a falcifera, not a parce (see the color and the shape of the wings).

"The problem started in South America: S. Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina. There may be even a third species, that could be guiarti (also called modesta). Ian and Jean Marie say no, but I am not so sure they are right. But as they say, in the male genitalia, there is no difference.

"So on your page, you depict two parce and one falcifera. Let's say that in the USA, parce is really rarer than falcifera. I have seen a large series of falcifera from Arizona, but I have not seen parce from that state.



Callionima parce male courtesy of Hubert Mayer copyright.

Below is the image that Manuel Balcazar Lara offers from Mexico. Kitching and Cadiou 2000 indicate examination of genitalia is requird to distinguish parce from falcifera. They also note that in Venezuela parce flies only before midnight, and falcifera flies only after midnight.

Callionima falcifera, courtesy of Manuel Balcazar-Lara
idenitifed by Jean Haxaire.


Females call in the males with a pheromone released from a gland at the tip of the abdomen. Both males and females nectar at flowers and come in to lights, but males are taken much more frequently that way.


Larvae feed on Stemmadenia obovata and probably on other members of the Apocynaceae family.

Huevos de caballo, cojones de burro, cojón, cojón de puerco, and cojón de coche (Guatemala), are the common names for Stemmadenia obovata.

In English, the common name is "Horse Testicles". This tree has a smooth, pale whitish bark with prominent lenticils. The leaves are simple and glossy. The fruit is green and is paired (resembling its common name "horse testicles").

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