MACROGLOSSUM SITIENE Walker, 1856 -- Crisp-banded hummingbird hawkmoth

Faded female Macroglossum sitiene. Photo: © NHMUK Faded male Macroglossum sitiene. Photo: © NHMUK Fresh female Macroglossum sitiene, Hong Kong, China. Photo: © John Tennent

TAXONOMY

Macroglossa sitiene Walker, 1856, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus. 8: 92. Type locality: [Bangladesh,] Silhet [Sylhet]; [Burma, Tenasserim,] Moulmein; North India; [South Africa, Natal,] Port Natal [Durban].

Synonym. Macroglossa nigrifasciata Butler, 1875.

Synonym. Macroglossa sinica Boisduval, 1875.

Synonym. Macroglossa sitiens Boisduval, 1875.

Synonym. Macroglossa orientalis Butler, 1876.


ADULT DESCRIPTION AND VARIATION

Wingspan: 46--56mm. Similar to Macroglossum heliophila, but body and forewing uppersides paler, clayish. Forewing upperside antemedian band very prominent, sharply dilated basad posteriorly; first and second discal lines curved as in Macroglossum heliophila, but the second not dilated distad posteriorly to vein M1. Both wings undersides more greyish distally than in Macroglossum heliophila, the lines of the hindwing prominent. Hindwing upperside yellow band deeper yellow than in Macroglossum heliophila, the edge of the black border less convex. Abdomen upperside with dorsal basal dots vestigial; seventh segment pale, with a very conspicuous black mesial patch; side tufts all prominently white-tipped. The anal fan in females is simple and held flat, that of the darker male is trident-shaped, and curved. Underside of palpus, middle of thorax, and mesial patches on the proximal abdominal sternites dirty grey, much less white than in Macroglossum heliophila.

In the male genitalia, uncus prism-shaped, rounded dorsally, furrowed ventrally, apex truncate. Gnathos rounded apically. Valve with stridulatory scales. Harpe almost straight, sharply pointed. Aedeagus with two processes: one broad, hook-shaped, dentate on the concave edge; the other very long and slender, horizontal; long internal rod broad, terminating in a long point.


Female Macroglossum sitiene, Singapore. Photo: © Leong Tzi Ming. Male Macroglossum sitiene, Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: © Tony Pittaway. Adult of Macroglossum sitiene at Lantana, Hong Kong, China. Photo: © Kent H. K. Li.

ADULT BIOLOGY

Attacted to Duranta erecta and Lantana camara blossom. Prefers flowers low down on bushes, flying very close to the ground when approaching. Active at temperatures as low as 6°C (Li, 1992).

FLIGHT-TIME

China: v-vii (Hainan); vii (Guangdong); ix-x (Hong Kong); x (Guangdong; Hainan); xii (Hong Kong). Taiwan: vii (Tainan); vii-viii (Kaohsiung); x ([unstated locality]).


EARLY STAGES

OVUM:

LARVA: Full-fed 53--58mm, width 8mm, horn 7.5mm. Polymorphic, with both green and brown forms. According to Bell & Scott (1937), in the final instar shape similar to others of the genus. Body dull, with an encircling row of small tubercles around each secondary ring. Horn long, slightly up-curved, tuberculate.

In colour, head green with a white subdorsal stripe and a white stripe separating face from cheek. Body with segments 2-4 green, remaining segments greyish-green. There is a dorso-lateral strip made up of whitish tubercles on segments 2-4, then narrow and bluish-grey until 11 and 12, where it is broader and whitish to base of horn. Tubercles on anterior secondary ring of each segment yellow, the rest whitish. Horn with basal two-fifths bluish-grey, sides violet near base, distal two-fifths green, shading to yellow at tip, tubercles black. True legs pale reddish-brown, basal segment with a black ring; prolegs ivory-yellow with a black basal band. Spiracles cream-coloured with a broad, brick-red central band (Bell & Scott, 1937).


3rd-instar larva of Macroglossum sitiene on Paederia foetida, Hong Kong, China. Photo: © Kent H. K. Li. Full-grown blue-green larva of Macroglossum sitiene on Paederia foetida, Hong Kong, China. Photo: © Kent H. K. Li. Full-grown green larva of Macroglossum sitiene, Singapore. Photo: © Leong Tzi Ming. Full-grown brown larva of Macroglossum sitiene on Paederia foetida, Hong Kong, China. Photo: © Kent H. K. Li. Pre-pupation larva of Macroglossum sitiene, Singapore. Photo: © Leong Tzi Ming.

PUPA: 42mm, width 9mm. Colour of head and thorax dull greenish-grey, rest of body brownish-grey. Tongue-case with a median black stripe; wing-case mottled with black; body marked with dark dots and short stripes; spiracles black.

Shape similar to other pupae of the genus. Antenna, slightly longer than fore leg and reaching to about one-third of wing-case. Surface slightly shiny. Cremaster elongate-triangular, tip emarginate-truncate and slightly upturned, with a small conical tubercle at each lateral angle; dorsal surface smooth, ventral with two: curved longitudinal ridges down the middle and three channels, the central channel the broadest and shallowest (Bell & Scott, 1937).


Pupa of Macroglossum sitiene (lateral view), Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: © Tony Pittaway. Pupa of Macroglossum sitiene (ventral view), Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: © Tony Pittaway. Pupa of Macroglossum sitiene, Singapore. Photo: © Leong Tzi Ming. Pupa of Macroglossum sitiene, Singapore. Photo: © Leong Tzi Ming. Pupa of Macroglossum sitiene, Singapore. Photo: © Leong Tzi Ming.

Larval hostplants. Paederia foetida (Rubiaceae) in Hong Kong (Li, pers. comm. 2002); Morinda umbellata as well as Paederia foetida farther north in China. Mainly on Morinda citrifolia in Bangkok, Thailand (Tony Pittaway, pers. obs.).


Paederia foetida, Beijing, China. Photo: © Tony Pittaway. Morinda citrifolia, Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: © Tony Pittaway. Morinda citrifolia, Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: © Tony Pittaway.

PARASITOIDS


LOCAL DISTRIBUTION

China: Guangdong (Dinghushan; ??Fung-wan); Hong Kong (Kowloon); Hainan (??Manchuo; ??Secha; ??Taipinshi; Chengmai; Haikou; Wenchang; ??Yulinkang).

Taiwan: Tainan; Kaohsiung.

Japan: Ryukyu Archipelago (Okinawa).


GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION

Sri Lanka, eastern India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, southern China, Taiwan, southern Japan (Ryukyu Archipelago), Vietnam, Malaysia (Peninsular) and Indonesia (Sumatra).


Global distribution of Macroglossum sitiene. Map: © NHMUK.

BIOGEOGRAPHICAL AFFILIATION



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