Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Acherontia styx
(small death's head hawkmoth)

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Datasheet

Acherontia styx (small death's head hawkmoth)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 24 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Acherontia styx
  • Preferred Common Name
  • small death's head hawkmoth
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Full-grown larva (green form) of A. Styx styx on Clerodendrum inerme in Saudi Arabia.
TitleLarva
CaptionFull-grown larva (green form) of A. Styx styx on Clerodendrum inerme in Saudi Arabia.
Copyright©A.R. Pittaway
Full-grown larva (green form) of A. Styx styx on Clerodendrum inerme in Saudi Arabia.
LarvaFull-grown larva (green form) of A. Styx styx on Clerodendrum inerme in Saudi Arabia.©A.R. Pittaway
Colour drawing of a full-grown larva of A. styx (green form) feeding on jasmine.
TitleLarva
CaptionColour drawing of a full-grown larva of A. styx (green form) feeding on jasmine.
Copyright©A.R. Pittaway/Harley Books
Colour drawing of a full-grown larva of A. styx (green form) feeding on jasmine.
LarvaColour drawing of a full-grown larva of A. styx (green form) feeding on jasmine.©A.R. Pittaway/Harley Books
Adult female A. styx - wingspan 90-120 mm.
TitleAdult female
CaptionAdult female A. styx - wingspan 90-120 mm.
Copyright©A.R. Pittaway/Harley Books
Adult female A. styx - wingspan 90-120 mm.
Adult femaleAdult female A. styx - wingspan 90-120 mm.©A.R. Pittaway/Harley Books

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Acherontia styx (Westwood, 1847)

Preferred Common Name

  • small death's head hawkmoth

Other Scientific Names

  • Acherontia atropos var. styx (Westwood) Staudinger & Rebel, 1901
  • Acherontia medusa Moore, 1858
  • Acherontia styx crathis Rothschild & Jordan, 1903
  • Manduca styx (Westwood) Kirby, 1892
  • Sphinx styx Westwood, 1847

International Common Names

  • English: eastern death's head hawkmoth; Indian death's head hawkmoth; Indian death's head moth; Japanese death's head hawkmoth; Japanese death's head moth; Sesamum sphinx; til hawkmoth; til sphinx
  • French: sphinx tête de mort
  • Chinese: zhimagui tian-er

Local Common Names

  • Japan: mengata-suzume

EPPO code

  • ACHEST (Acherontia styx)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Lepidoptera
  •                         Family: Sphingidae
  •                             Genus: Acherontia
  •                                 Species: Acherontia styx

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Asia

BangladeshPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903)
BhutanPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903)
CambodiaPresentWaterhouse (1993)
ChinaPresent, WidespreadChu and Wang (1980)
-BeijingPresent, Few occurrencesYang (1978)
-GuangdongPresentWang and Zhao (1993)
-GuangxiPresentWang and Zhao (1993)
-HebeiPresentWang and Zhao (1993)
-HenanPresentYang (1978)
-HubeiPresentWang and Zhao (1993)
-HunanPresentWang (1992); Wang and Zhao (1993)
-JiangsuPresentWang and Zhao (1993)
-JiangxiPresentWang and Zhao (1993)
-ShaanxiPresentYang (1978)
-ShandongPresentWang and Zhao (1993)
-ShanghaiPresentCotes and Swinhoe (1887)
-ShanxiPresentLi and Guo (1990)
-TibetPresent, LocalizedNativeZhao and Hu (1987)
-YunnanPresentWang and Zhao (1993)
-ZhejiangPresentMell (1935); CABI (Undated)
Hong KongPresentTennent (1992)
IndiaPresent, WidespreadRothschild and Jordan (1903)
-Andhra PradeshPresentRao et al. (1980)
-AssamPresentScott (1941)
-GujaratPresentVora et al. (1985)
-HaryanaPresentCABI (Undated a)
-Himachal PradeshPresentCotes and Swinhoe (1887)
-KarnatakaPresentCotes and Swinhoe (1887)
-MaharashtraPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903)
-MeghalayaPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903)
-OdishaPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: Satpathy et al. (1976)
-PunjabPresentCABI (Undated a)
-RajasthanPresentAhuja (1989); CABI (Undated)
-SikkimPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903)
-Tamil NaduPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: Mohanasundaram (1973)
-Uttar PradeshPresentGoel and Kumar (1991)
-West BengalPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903)
IndonesiaPresent, WidespreadRothschild and Jordan (1903); Waterhouse (1993); CABI (Undated)
-JavaPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903); Waterhouse (1993)
-Maluku IslandsPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903); Waterhouse (1993)
-SulawesiPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903)
IranPresentEbert (1969); Ghassemi et al. (2009)
IraqPresentWiltshire (1957)
JapanPresentInoue (1961); Nakatomi (1987)
-HonshuPresentNakatomi (1987)
-KyushuPresentNakatomi (1987)
-Ryukyu IslandsPresentNakatomi (1987)
-ShikokuPresentNakatomi (1987)
JordanPresent, Few occurrencesPittaway (1993)
LaosPresentWaterhouse (1993)
MalaysiaPresentWaterhouse (1993); CABI (Undated);
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: Lödl (1993)
-SarawakPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903); Holloway (1976)
MyanmarPresent, WidespreadBell and Scott (1937); Waterhouse (1993)
NepalPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: Haruta and (1992)
OmanPresentWiltshire (1975)
PakistanPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903)
PhilippinesPresentRothschild and Jordan (1903)
QatarPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: Walker and Pittaway (1987)
Saudi ArabiaPresent, WidespreadPittaway (1979); Wiltshire (1980a)
South KoreaPresentKim et al. (1982)
Sri LankaPresent, WidespreadRothschild and Jordan (1903); Bell and Scott (1937)
SyriaPresent, Few occurrencesWiltshire (1980)
TaiwanPresentLin (1987)
ThailandPresentInoue et al. (1997)
TurkeyPresent, Few occurrencesCotes and Swinhoe (1887); CABI (Undated)
United Arab EmiratesPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: Walker and Pittaway (1987)
VietnamPresentKitching and Spitzer (1995)

Growth Stages

Top of page Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / external feeding

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Bacillus thuringiensis
Drino ciliata Parasite Larvae
Sycanus affinis Predator Larvae
Trichogrammatoidea australicum Parasite Eggs
Zygobothria atropivora Parasite Larvae

References

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Ahuja DB, 1989. Seasonal occurrence of insect pests in Sesamum indicum Linn. Journal of Entomological Research, 13(1-2):116-120

Barlow HS, 1982. An Introduction to the Moths of South East Asia. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malayan Nature Society, 305 pp.

Bell TRD; Scott FB, 1937. Moths, Vol. 5, Sphingidae. In: Sewell RBS, ed. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. London, UK: Taylor & Francis.

Chhabra KS; Kooner BS, 1985. Losses in summer mungbean due to insect pests in Punjab. Indian Journal of Entomology, 47(1):103-105

Chu HF; Wang LY, 1980. Economic Insect Fauna of China. Fasc. 22. Lepidoptera: Sphingidae. Beijing, China: Science Press, 84 pp.

Cotes EC; Swinhoe C, 1887. A Catalogue of the Moths of India, Part 1. Sphinges. Calcutta, India: Trustees of the Indian Museum.

D'Abrera B, 1986. Sphingidae Mundi: Hawk Moths of the World. Faringdon, UK: E. W. Classey Ltd., 226 pp. [published 1987]

Ebert G, 1969. Afghan Bombycids and Sphingids. 3. Sphingidae (Lepidoptera). Results of the 2nd German Afghanistan Expedition (1966) by the Karlsruhe State Natural History Collections. Reichenbachia, 12:37-53.

Fox A, 1986. Common Malaysian Moths. Selangor, Malaysia: Longman Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

Ghassemi F; Alemansoor H; Alehossein A, 2009. Identification of moths of family Sphingidae in some regions of Fars Province (Iran). Plant Protection Journal, 1(2):Pe180-Pe193, En194.

Goel SC; Kumar S, 1991. Ovicidal action of synthetic pyrethroids on the eggs of Bihar hairy caterpillar, Spilosoma obliqua (Walker) and sesamum sphinx, Acherontia styx (Westwood). Entomon, 16(3):237-239

Haruta T; ed, 1992. Moths of Nepal, Part 1. Tinea, 13(Suppl. 2).

Harvir Singh; Kalra VK; Verma PK; Tomer PS, 1984. New host records of til hawk moth, Acherontia styx Westwood and cotton ash weevil Myllocerus undecempunctatus Desbr. at Hissar. Indian Journal of Plant Protection, 12(1):84

Holloway JD, 1976. Moths of Borneo with special reference to Mount Kinabalu. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malayan Nature Society with assistance from the Sabah Foundation, 264 pp.

Inoue H, 1961. Check list of the Lepidoptera of Japan. Tokyo, Japan: Rikusuisha.

Inoue H; Kennett RD; Kitching IJ, 1997. Sphingidae. Moths of Thailand, vol. 2. Bangkok, Thailand: Chok Chai Press, 149 pp.

Kalshoven LGE; Laan PA van der (Reviser and translator), 1981. Pests of crops in Indonesia (revised). Jakarta, Indonesia: Ichtiar Baru, 701 pp.

Kim CW; Nam SH; Lee SM, 1982. Illustrated Flora and Fauna of Korea Vol. 26, Insecta 8. Seoul, Korea Republic: Ministry of Education.

Kitching IJ; Spitzer K, 1995. An annotated checklist of the Sphingidae of Vietnam. Tinea, 14:171-195.

Kumar Kanaburgi; Patil RR; Mallappa Chandaragi; Ramesh Babu, 2012. Biology of hawk moth, Acherontia styx Westwood on its new alternate host Clerodendrum phlomidis Linneaus. Research on Crops, 13(2):595-598. http://www.cropresearch.org

Kuznetsov NYa; 1916 (1972 English edn by Amerind Publishing Co, New Delhi). A review of the family Sphingidae of the Palearctic and Chinese-Himalayan Faunas. Horae Societatis Entomologicae Rossicae, 37:293-346.

Li CG; Guo WJ, 1990. The sphinx moths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) of Shanxi Province and amino acid composition analysis of medical species. Journal of Shanxi University (Natural Science Edition), 13(4):439-443.

Lin CS, 1987. Sphingid moths and their larval food plants in Taiwan. Journal of Taiwan Museum, 40(2):101-120

Lodl M, 1993. The Malaysian hawkmoths: an annotated and illustrated checklist (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). Tropical Lepidoptera, 4(1):3-6

Mathur YK; Verma JP, 1973. Parasite complex of Acherontia styx Westwood and Asphondylia sesami Felt in Rajasthan. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 43(12):1075-1077

Mell R, 1935. Contributions to the fauna of China. XV. On the systematics and ecology of the sphingids and saturniids of Chekiang (Coll. Höne). Mitteilungen der Zoologischen Museum Berlin, 20:337-365.

Mohanasundaram M, 1972. On the new host records for some South Indian crop pests. Indian Journal of Entomology, 34(3):259-261

Nakatomi K, 1987. Sphingidae. In: Sugi S, ed. Larvae of Larger Moths in Japan. Tokyo, Japan.

Pittaway AR, 1979. The butterflies and hawk-moths of eastern Saudi Arabia. Proceedings and Transactions of the British Entomological and Natural History Society, 12(3/4):90-101.

Pittaway AR, 1981. Further notes on the butterflies and hawkmoths (Lepidoptera) of eastern Saudi Arabia. Entomologist's Gazette, 32(1):27-35

Pittaway AR, 1987. The 'Arabian sphinx'. Ahlan Wasahlan, 11(7):42-45

Pittaway AR, 1993. The hawkmoths of the western Palaearctic. Colchester, UK: Harley Books, 240 pp.

Pittaway AR, 1995. Sphingidae of the western Palaearctic: their ecology and biogeography. PhD Thesis. London, UK: Imperial College.

Rao JG; Kameswararao P; Murthy MS, 1980. Note on natural egg parasitisation of Acherontia styx Westw. at Hyderabad. Indian Journal of Entomology, 42(2):283

Rothschild LW; Jordan K, 1903. A revision of the lepidopterous family Sphingidae. Novitates Zoologicae, 9 (Suppl.):1-972.

Satpathy JM; Patnaik NC; Samalo AP, 1975. Observations on the biology and habits of Sycanus affinis Reut. (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) and its status as a predator. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society, 72(2):589-595

Scott FB, 1941. The Hawk-moths of Darjeeling and Sikkim. Journal of the Bengal Natural History Society, 15:134-138.

Tennent WJ, 1992. The Hawk Moths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) of Hong Kong and South-east China. Entomologist's Record, 104:88-112.

Vora VJ; Bharodia RK; Kapadia MN, 1985. Pest of oilseed crops and their control - sesamum. Pesticides, 19(2):11-12

Walker DH; Pittaway AR; Walker AJ(Illustrator), 1987. Insects of eastern Arabia. London, UK; Macmillan, xvi + 175pp.

Wang L; Zhao W, 1993. Lepidoptera: Sphingidae. In: Huang F, ed. Insects of Wuling Mountains area, southwestern China. Beijing, China: Science Press.

Wang LY, 1992. Lepidoptera: Hepialidae, Thyrididae, Epiplemidae, Epicopeiidae, Cyclidiidae, Drepanidae, Sphingidae, Bombycidae, Saturniidae, Brahmaeidae, Uraniidae, Callidulidae. In: Peng JW, Liu YQ, eds. Iconography of forest insects in Hunan China. Hunan, China: Academia Sinica & Hunan Forestry Institute, 782-799.

Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.

Whitcombe RP; Erzinclioglu YZ, 1989. The convolvulus hawk-moth, Agrius convolvuli (Lep.: Sphingidae) and its parasite Zygobothria ciliata (Dipt.: Tachinidae) in Oman. Journal of Oman Studies, 10:77-84

Wiltshire EP, 1957. The Lepidoptera of Iraq. London, UK: Nicholas Kaye Limited.

Wiltshire EP, 1975. Lepidoptera: Part I. Families Cossidae, Pyralidae, Geometridae, Sphingidae, Arctiidae, Lymantriidae and Noctuidae. In Scientific results of the Oman flora and fauna survey, 1975. Journal of Oman Studies, Special Report No. 1:155-160.

Wiltshire EP, 1980. Insects of Saudi Arabia. Lepidoptera: Fam. Cossidae, Limacodidae, Sesiidae, Lasiocampidae, Sphingidae, Notodontidae, Geometridae, Lymantriidae, Nolidae, Arctiidae, Agaristidae, Noctuidae, Ctenuchidae. In: Wittmer W, Büttiker W, ed. Fauna of Saudi Arabia. Vol. 2 1980. Basel, Switzerland: Ciba-Geigy Ltd., 179-240.

Wiltshire EP, 1980. Middle East Lepidoptera, XXXV - notes on recent captures of moths in the Lebanon, Syria and Sinai. Proceedings and Transactions of the British Entomological and Natural History Society, 13(1/2):41-46

Wiltshire EP, 1986. Lepidoptera of Saudi Arabia: Fam. Cossidae, Sesiidae, Metarbelidae, Lasiocampidae, Sphingidae, Geometridae, Lymantriidae, Arctiidae, Nolidae, Noctuidae (Heterocera); Fam. Satyridae (Rhopalocera) (Part 5). Fauna of Saudi Arabia, No. 8:262-323

Yang CZ, 1978. Moths of North China Vol. 2. Beijing, China: Peking Agricultural University.

Yang FC; ed, 1990. Comprehensive study of the natural resources of the Tianmu Mountain Nature Reserve. Zhejiang, China: Zhejiang Scientific and Technical Publishing House.

Zhao YX; Hu SC, 1987. Lepidoptera: Sphingidae. Agricultural Insects, Spiders, Plant Diseases and Weeds of Xizang, 1:295-297.

Distribution References

Ahuja D B, 1989. Seasonal occurrence of insect pests in Sesamum indicum Linn. Journal of Entomological Research. 13 (1-2), 116-120.

Bell T R D, Scott F B, 1937. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Moths, Vol. 5, Sphingidae. [ed. by Sewell R B]. London, UK: Taylor & Francis.

CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI

Chu H F, Wang L Y, 1980. Economic insect fauna of China. Fasc. 22. Lepidoptera: Sphingidae. In: Economic insect fauna of China. Fasc. 22. Lepidoptera: Sphingidae. Beijing, China: Science Press. vii + 84 pp.

Cotes E C, Swinhoe C, 1887. A Catalogue of the Moths of India, Part 1. Sphinges. Calcutta, India: Trustees of the Indian Museum.

Ebert G, 1969. Afghan Bombycids and Sphingids. 3. Sphingidae (Lepidoptera). Results of the 2nd German Afghanistan Expedition (1966) by the Karlsruhe State Natural History Collections. In: Reichenbachia, 12 37-53.

Ghassemi F, Alemansoor H, Alehossein A, 2009. Identification of moths of family Sphingidae in some regions of Fars Province (Iran). Plant Protection Journal. 1 (2), Pe180-Pe193, En194.

Goel S C, Kumar S, 1991. Ovicidal action of synthetic pyrethroids on the eggs of Bihar hairy caterpillar, Spilosoma obliqua (Walker) and sesamum sphinx, Acherontia styx (Westwood). Entomon. 16 (3), 237-239.

Holloway J D, 1976. Moths of Borneo with special reference to Mount Kinabalu. In: Moths of Borneo with special reference to Mount Kinabalu. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malayan Nature Society with assistance from the Sabah Foundation. viii + 264 pp.

Inoue H, 1961. Check list of the Lepidoptera of Japan., Tokyo, Japan: Rikusuisha.

Inoue H, Kennett RD, Kitching IJ, 1997. Sphingidae. Moths of Thailand., 2 Bangkok, Thailand: Chok Chai Press. 149 pp.

Kim CW, Nam SH, Lee SM, 1982. Illustrated Flora and Fauna of Korea. In: Insecta 8, 26 Seoul, Korea: Ministry of Education.

Kitching IJ, Spitzer K, 1995. An annotated checklist of the Sphingidae of Vietnam. In: Tinea, 14 171-195.

Li CG, Guo WJ, 1990. The sphinx moths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) of Shanxi Province and amino acid composition analysis of medical species. In: Journal of Shanxi University (Natural Science Edition), 13 (4) 439-443.

Lin C S, 1987. Sphingid moths and their larval food plants in Taiwan. Journal of Taiwan Museum. 40 (2), 101-120.

Mell R, 1935. Contributions to the fauna of China. XV. On the systematics and ecology of the sphingids and saturniids of Chekiang (Coll. Höne). Mitteilungen der Zoologischen Museum Berlin. 337-365.

Nakatomi K, 1987. Sphingidae. In: Larvae of Larger Moths in Japan, [ed. by Sugi S]. Tokyo, Japan:

Pittaway A R, 1979. The butterflies and hawk-moths of eastern Saudi Arabia. Proceedings and Transactions of the British Entomological and Natural History Society. 12 (3/4), 90-101.

Pittaway A R, 1993. The hawkmoths of the western Palaearctic. Colchester, UK: Harley Books. 240 pp.

Rao J G, Kameswararao P, Murthy M S, 1980. Note on natural egg parasitisation of Acherontia styx Westw. at Hyderabad. Indian Journal of Entomology. 42 (2), 283.

Rothschild L W, Jordan K, 1903. A revision of the lepidopterous family Sphingidae. Novitates Zoologicae. 9 (Suppl.), 972 pp.

Scott F B, 1941. The Hawk-moths of Darjeeling and Sikkim. Journal of the Bengal Natural History Society. 134-138.

Tennent WJ, 1992. The Hawk Moths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) of Hong Kong and South-east China. In: Entomologist's Record, 104 88-112.

Vora V J, Bharodia R K, Kapadia M N, 1985. Pest of oilseed crops and their control - sesamum. Pesticides. 19 (2), 11-12.

Wang L, Zhao W, 1993. Lepidoptera: Sphingidae. In: Insects of Wuling Mountains area, southwestern China, [ed. by Huang F]. Beijing, China: Science Press.

Wang LY, 1992. (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae, Thyrididae, Epiplemidae, Epicopeiidae, Cyclidiidae, Drepanidae, Sphingidae, Bombycidae, Saturniidae, Brahmaeidae, Uraniidae, Callidulidae). In: Iconography of forest insects in Hunan China, [ed. by Peng JW, Liu YQ]. Hunan, China: Academia Sinica & Hunan Forestry Institute. 782-799.

Waterhouse D F, 1993. The major arthropod pests and weeds of agriculture in Southeast Asia. Canberra, Australia: ACIAR. v + 141 pp.

Wiltshire E P, 1980. Middle East Lepidoptera, XXXV - notes on recent captures of moths in the Lebanon, Syria and Sinai. Proceedings and Transactions of the British Entomological and Natural History Society. 13 (1/2), 41-46.

Wiltshire E P, 1980a. Insects of Saudi Arabia. Lepidoptera: Fam. Cossidae, Limacodidae, Sesiidae, Lasiocampidae, Sphingidae, Notodontidae, Geometridae, Lymantriidae, Nolidae, Arctiidae, Agaristidae, Noctuidae, Ctenuchidae. In: Fauna of Saudi Arabia, Vol. 2. [ed. by Wittmer W, Buttiker W]. Basle, Switzerland: Ciba-Geigy Ltd. 179-240.

Wiltshire EP, 1957. The Lepidoptera of Iraq., London, UK: Nicholas Kaye Limited.

Wiltshire EP, 1975. Lepidoptera: Part I. Families Cossidae, Pyralidae, Geometridae, Sphingidae, Arctiidae, Lymantriidae and Noctuidae. In: Scientific results of the Oman flora and fauna survey, 1975 Journal of Oman Studies, 155-160.

Yang CZ, 1978. Moths of North China., 2 Beijing, China: Peking Agricultural University.

Zhao YX, Hu SC, 1987. (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae). In: Agricultural Insects, Spiders, Plant Diseases and Weeds of Xizang, 1 295-297.

Distribution Maps

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