MACROGLOSSUM VARIEGATUM Rothschild & Jordan, 1903 -- Variegated hummingbird hawkmoth

Female Macroglossum variegatum. Photo: © NHMUK Male Macroglossum variegatum. Photo: © NHMUK

TAXONOMY

Macroglossum variegatum Rothschild & Jordan, 1903, Novit. zool. 9 (suppl.): 621 (key), 625 (key), 653. Type locality: [India:] Assam [Meghalaya], Cherrapunji.


ADULT DESCRIPTION AND VARIATION

Wingspan: 50--54mm. Most similar to Macroglossum heliophila, but with the following differences: forewing upperside with pale discal spot present with a dark spot at its proximal side in fresh specimens; antemedian band less prominent, much more curved, almost at right angles to costal margin; first and second discal lines also more obviously curved, S-shaped, the second dilated distad behind vein M1, but not conspicuously so; median band less pale than in Macroglossum heliophila, shaped like an hour-glass, the anterior lobe the larger; vein M1 grey; postdiscal line and its grey border distinct, continuous from costal to hind margin; distal margin weakly scalloped in fresh specimens, with darker dots at the vein tips; abdomen upperside with pairs of black dots at the bases of tergites 3, 4 and 5; underside of palpus and middle of thorax clayish, much darker than in Macroglossum heliophila; abdomen underside deeper brown, without whitish grey patches on the first sternites.

In the male genitalia, uncus truncate. Gnathos less tapering than that of Macroglossum heliophila. Valve without stridulatory scales. Harpe short, tapering, curved upwards then distad, underside often dentate. Aedeagus with process short, obtuse, slender, dentate apically as well as on the proximal edge, the dentition extending onto the aedeagus itself; internal rods rounded apically.


ADULT BIOLOGY

Attracted to the flowers of Duranta erecta.


FLIGHT-TIME

China: 1.iv (Hong Kong); 21.vi-vii (Hong Kong); 9-22.ix (Hong Kong); 1-8.xi (Hong Kong).


EARLY STAGES

OVUM: Green, slightly oval, shiny and smooth.

LARVA: Full-fed 50mm. So similar to those of Macroglossum troglodytus that Mell (1922) was unable to distinguish them from those of that species (Bell & Scott, 1937).

PUPA: 30mm.

Larval hostplants. Hedyotis (Rubiaceae).


PARASITOIDS


LOCAL DISTRIBUTION

China: Fujian; Guangdong; Hong Kong (North Point); Hainan.


GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION

Northeastern India, southern China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sarawak), Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan).


Global distribution of Macroglossum variegatum. Map: © NHMUK.

BIOGEOGRAPHICAL AFFILIATION



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