Manduca florestan
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 personal communciation with Anres Oscar Contreras (Pilar, Neembucu, Paraguay), May 2009
Updated as per personal communication with Ezequiel Bustos (Osununu Private Reserve, Misiones, Argentina, October 14, 2009); November 2009
Updated as per personal communication with Evan Rand (Gila and Navajo Cos., Arizona); May 2010
Updated as per Bold Systems (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, French Guiana, Suriname, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina); February 2011
Updated as per French Guiana Sphingidae; March 8, 2011
Updated as per personal communication with Andres Urbas, (Camp Caiman, near Kaw, French Guiana, April 29, 2011); May 21, 2011

Manduca florestan
(Stohl, 1782) Sphinx

Manduca florestan male courtesy of Dan Janzen.

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


Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, [1802]
Tribe: Sphingini, Latreille, 1802
Genus: Manduca Hubner, [1807] ...........
Species: florestan (Stohl, 1782)


.....It's a Wonderful World.....
copyright C. Odenkirk
<bgsound src="world.mid" LOOP=FOREVER>


Manduca florestan (Wing span: 3 7/8 - 4 1/8 inches (approximate wingspan: males: 100-115mm; females 110-130mm), proboscis 61mm) flies from the mountains of
southern Arizona, New Mexico, and the lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas through
Mexico: Jalapa;
Belize: Corozol, Cayo, Toledo;
Guatemala: Izabal (JM);
El Salvador;
Nicaragua: Jinotega, Maltagapa, Managua, Masaya, Granada, Zelaya, Rio San Juan, probably everywhere;
Costa Rica: Guanacaste, Puntarenas, Lemon, Alajuela, Heredia, San Jose;
and Panama; into South America:
Surinam specimen type locality;
French Guiana: Saul; Kaw;
Bolivia: La Paz, Santa Cruz;
Paraguay: Neembucu (AOC);
Argentina: Corrientes, Jujuy, Misiones, Salta, Santa Fe, Tucuman; and
Brazil; with
Daniel Rojas Lanus sent me an image from Iguazu, Misiones Province, Argentina. The specimen was taken January 17, 1997.

Andres Oscar Contreras sent me an image from Pilar, Neembucu, Paraguay.

Visit Manduca florestan, Osununu Private Reserve, Misiones, Argentina, October 14, 2009, courtesy of Ezequiel Bustos.

Visit Manduca florestan, Camp Caiman, near Kaw, French Guiana, April 29, 2011, courtesy of Andres Urbas.

Evan Rand writes, May 2010: "I've encountered enough fresh Manduca florestan in Gila and Navajo Cos, Arizona, in the past two years that I'm pretty sure they're breeding there, which is considerably farther north than most other information indicates."

Manduca florestan, Camp Caiman, near Kaw, French Guiana,
April 29, 2011, courtesy of Andres Urbas.

The upperside of the forewing is gray to yellowish gray to brown, with whitish patches and black markings, including two dashes running from the cell out toward the margin. The reddish brown patch just outside the cell and above the dashes is the most distinguishing character.

Structurally very similar to Manduca lichenea. Individual variation means identification is not always easy. Forewing with a greenish tint in fresh specimens, which can fade to clayish yellow; black discal streaks between veins M3 and CuA2 always very prominent against the pale ground colour, unlike in Manduca lichenea. CATE

The upperside of the hindwing is dark brown with a brown-centered white bar at the hind edge.

Ceratomia sonorensis, a similar species, is smaller and has dark streaks on the forewing.

Image, copyright, courtesy of Steve Graser, Yasuni, Ecuador September 11, 2002 - 12:29 AM.

Manduca florestan, 99mm, Calilegua, Jujuy, Argentina,
November 16, 2009, 750m, courtesy of Nigel venters.


Manduca florestan adults fly as a single brood from late June to early August in the United States. In Costa Rica adults are taken every month of the year.

In Bolivia thay have been reported in March and October-December.

Manduca florestan, Brasil, Poté, Minas Gerais,
November 11, 2004, courtesy of Frederik Goussey, id by Jean Haxaire.


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

Manduca florestan female courtesy of Dan Janzen.


Females call in the males with a pheromone released from a gland at the tip of the abdomen. Adults take nectar from flowers, including Plumeria rubra in Costa Rica.


Larvae feed on trumpetbush (Tecoma species) and fiddlewood (Citharexylum species).

In Costa Rica, Dan Janzen reports the following hosts: Stachytarpheta frantzii, Callicarpa acuminata, Aegiphylla martinicensis and Citharexylum costaricensis of the Verbenaceae family, Tabebuia ochracea, Callichlamys latifolia, Cydista heterophylla, Cydista diversifolia, Crescentia alata, Macfadyena unguis-cati and a vine of the Bignoniaceae family and Cordia panamensis and Cordia alliodora of the Boraginaceae family and Chionentis panamensis of the Olacaceae family.

In Brazil, larvae have been reported on Lantana camara, Pyrostegia venusta and Vitex megapotamica. HOSTS

Yellow side slashes often occur on larvae feeding on foliage with yellowish underside veins. In the penultimate instar, the anterior three slashes are accentuated.

Top and bottom larval images courtesy of Bruce Walsh.

Larvae pupate on their backs in typical Manduca fashion. Moths emerge in about thirty to fifty days.

Use your browser "Back" button to return to the previous page.

Return to Sphingidae Index
Return to Sphingini Tribe

Use your browser "Back" button to return to the previous page.

This page is brought to you by Bill Oehlke and the WLSS. Pages are on space rented from Bizland. If you would like to become a "Patron of the Sphingidae Site", contact Bill.

Please send sightings/images to Bill. I will do my best to respond to requests for identification help.

Enjoy one of nature's wonderments: Live Saturniidae (Giant Silkmoth) cocoons.

Show appreciation for this site by clicking on flashing butterfly to the left.
The link will take you to a page with links to many insect sites.