Cautethia spuria
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

Cautethia spuria
(Boisduval, [1875]) Oenosanda

Cautethia spuria female courtesy of Dan Janzen.

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Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Macroglossinae, Harris, 1839
Tribe: Macroglossini, Harris, 1839
Genus: Cautethia Grote, 1865 ...........
Species: spuria (Boisduval, [1875])


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The Spurious Sphinx Moth, Cautethia spuria, [wingspan: 1 3/8 - 1 3/4 inches (3.5 - 4.5 cm)], flies in
Belize: Cayo, Toledo;
Nicaragua: Managua, Carazo, Granada, probably Rivas;
Costa Rica: Guanacaste, Puntarenas, Lemon, Alajuela, San Jose; and north to
South Texas and Oklahoma.

The upperside of the forewing is pale silvery gray with black markings; in some moths the wing base may be very dark. The upperside of the hindwing is deep yellow with a black border that covers more than half the wing.


Cautethia spuria adults fly as multiple broods in Costa Rica, Mexico, south Texas, etc., and nectar at flowers. In Costa Rica, moths are taken in every month of the year.


Pupae probably wiggle to surface from subterranean chambers just prior to eclosion.

Cautethia spuria male courtesy of Dan Janzen.


Females call in the males with a pheromone released from a gland at the tip of the abdomen.


The egg is a green sphere.

Larvae have a long dark "anal horn" in the first instar.

Larvae feed on Coutarea hexandra, Chiococca alba and Chiococca pachyphylla and probably other species of the Rubiaceae family.

Moths emerge in as few as fourteen days from pupation, although a full month seems to be more typical.

Larvae are subject to parasitization from Belvosia sp. 7 of the Tachinidae family.

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