ELIBIA DOLICHOIDES (R. Felder, [1874]) -- Green banded hawkmoth

Adult male Elibia dolichoides. Photo: © NHMUK

TAXONOMY

Philampelus dolichoides Felder, R., [1874], in Felder, Felder & Rogenhofer, Reise öst. Fregatte Novara (Zool.) 2 (Abt. 2): pl. 76, fig. 8. Type locality: [India], Sikkim [West Bengal], <<Darjeeling>> [Darling].

Synonym. Philampelus dolichoides Felder, R., [1874].

Synonym. Ampelophaga dolichoides (Felder, R., [1874]).

Note. With the discovery of the early stages, it is very apparent that this species belongs in the genus Elibia, not Ampelophaga, a conclusion supported by the phylogenetic work of Kawahara et al. (2009). However, the pupa lacks the free, jug-handle tongue-case found in Elibia dolichus. This is not significant as such variation is also present in the genus Sphinx.


ADULT DESCRIPTION AND VARIATION

Wingspan: 80--100mm. Forewing upperside distinctive, with four grey lines forming the proximal borders of tawny-olive bands; A weakly-marked, brown zigzag line present between the two discal lines. Hindwing veins M3 and Cu1 less close together than in Ampelophaga rubiginosa, the cross-vein m2m3 not being longer than m3Cu1. Midtarsus with spines of the fourth row elongated.

In the male genitalia, uncus sinuate in distal view. Valve with about 16 large stridulatory scales that are rounded-truncate, broad at the ends. Harpe with process short, not dentate. Aedeagus with apex asymmetrical, both processes dentate.


Adult male Elibia dolichoides, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Photo: © Tony Pittaway Adult male Elibia dolichoides, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Photo: © Tony Pittaway

ADULT BIOLOGY

A rainforest species in southern China, frequenting small clearings. It breeds in these on woody Vitaceae hanging from the canopy.


FLIGHT-TIME

China: 31.iii.2013 (Yunnan); vii (Xizang/Tibet); ix (Yunnan).


EARLY STAGES

OVUM: Unknown.

LARVA: Present in the rainy season. Up until the final instar the larva rests along the midrib on the underside of leaves. In the final instar it retreats by day to brown woody stems, generally only feeding at night on mature leaves. Not a very active species. Eats very little compared to other larvae of similar size.


Fourth instar larva of Elibia dolichoides, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China, 28.viii.2005. Photo: © Tony Pittaway Final instar larva of Elibia dolichoides, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Photo: © Tony Pittaway Final instar larva of Elibia dolichoides, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Photo: © Tony Pittaway

PUPA: Similar in shape to that of Acosmeryx, and almost immobile. Formed in cell of leaves held together with silk strands.


Pupa of Elibia dolichoides, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Photo: © Tony Pittaway Pupa of Elibia dolichoides, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Photo: © Tony Pittaway Pupa of Elibia dolichoides, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China. Photo: © Tony Pittaway

Larval hostplants. Species of Vitaceae, particularly the mature leaves. A larva found on Tetrastigma was reared on Parthenocissus inserta.


PARASITOIDS

Unknown.


LOCAL DISTRIBUTION

China: Yunnan (Cangyuan; Yexianggu, Xishuangbanna; Simao/Pu'er); Xizang/Tibet (Xiachayu, Zayu County).


GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION

From Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim/Assam (India), across Thailand and southwestern China to Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia.


Global distribution of Elibia dolichoides. Map: © NHMUK.

BIOGEOGRAPHICAL AFFILIATION



Return to Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic species list
© A.R. Pittaway & I.J. Kitching (The Natural History Museum, London)