HIPPOTION ROSETTA (Swinhoe, 1892)

Female Hippotion rosetta. Photo: © BMNH Male Hippotion rosetta. Photo: © BMNH

TAXONOMY

Choerocampa rosetta Swinhoe, 1892, Cat. east. and Aust. Lepid. Heterocera Colln Oxf. Univ. Mus. 1: 16. Type locality: [Indonesia, Maluku,] Ceram [Seram].

Synonym. Choerocampa rosetta Swinhoe, 1892.

Synonym. Hippotion depictum Dupont, 1941, in Dupont, F. & Roepke, W., Heterocera Javanica. Fam. Sphingidae, Hawk moths. Verh. ned. Akad. Wet. (Tweede Sectie) 40: 70. Type locality: [Indonesia,] Java.


ADULT DESCRIPTION AND VARIATION

Very similar to Hippotion boerhaviae from which it is only distinguishable with certainty by the shape of the juxta. Forewing generally shorter than Hippotion boerhaviae, outer margin more convex, pattern duller and less contrasting, appearing less striped. Hindwing upperside with a buff tornal patch; median area more orange-pink than Hippotion boerhaviae. Underside of abdomen generally with either a poorly-defined narrow, pale median stripe, or lacking one entirely.

Male genitalia as Hippotion boerhaviae but juxta long, distally acutely triangular.


Adult Hippotion rosetta, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: © Wendy Lim

ADULT BIOLOGY

Attracted to the flowers of Lantana camara, Duranta erecta and Ixora in Hong Kong, flying for most of the night (Tennent, 1992).


FLIGHT-TIME

China: i-xii (Hong Kong); 20-21.vi (Yunnan); vii (Hainan). Taiwan: v (Kaohsiung Hsien); vi (Taichung Hsien); vi (Nantou Hsien); vii (Nantou Hsien); viii (Tainan). Japan: 24.iv (Ryukyu Archipelago); 22.vi (Honshu); 6.x (Ryukyu Archipelago).

Kendrick (2002) states that it is multivoltine in Hong Kong, occurring from March until November, with peaks in late March, May and early October.


EARLY STAGES

OVUM:

LARVA:


Full-grown dark larva of Hippotion rosetta, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo: © Lindsay Warren Full-grown dark larva of Hippotion rosetta, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo: © Lindsay Warren Full-grown dark larva of Hippotion rosetta. Image: Mell, 1922b Full-grown green form larva of Hippotion rosetta on Morinda, Singapore. Photo: © Kelvin Lim Full-grown brown form larva of Hippotion rosetta on Pentas, Waialua, Oahu, Hawaii, 22.x.2004. Photo: © Carla Kishinami

PUPA:

Larval hostplants. Borreria, Morinda citrifolia and Morinda umbellata (Rubiaceae). In Hong Kong it has also been found on Pentas lanceolata (David L. Mohn, pers. comm. 2005), which is also the main host in Hawaii.


Pentas lanceolata. Photo: © Tony Pittaway.

PARASITOIDS


LOCAL DISTRIBUTION

China: Yunnan (Kunming; Huanglian Nature Reserve, 2060m); Guangdong (Guangzhou; Lianping; Wanzishan, Deqing); Hong Kong (Shau Kei Wan); Hainan (Chengmai).

Taiwan: Nantou Hsien (Lushan spa; Huisun Forest; Puli); Tainan; Kaohsiung Hsien (Liukuei); Taichung Hsien (Pahsien Shan).

Japan: Honshu (Taira); Ryukyu Archipelago (Iriomoteshima; Ishigakishima).


GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION

From southern Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, eastwards across Thailand, southern China and Taiwan to southern Japan (Ryukyu Archipelago) and the Philippines, and then southwards across the Indian Ocean Islands and South East Asia to the Maldive Islands, Andaman Islands, eastern Indonesia, the Solomon Islands and the Torres Straits of New Guinea.

In the last 15 years this species has managed to colonize Hawaii, although it was initially misidentified as Hippotion boerhaviae.


Global distribution of Hippotion rosetta. Map: © BMNH.

BIOGEOGRAPHICAL AFFILIATION



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© A.R. Pittaway & I.J. Kitching (The Natural History Museum, London)