LAOTHOE SINICA Rothschild & Jordan, 1903

GB: Chinese Poplar Hawkmoth

Laothoe amurensis sinica Rothschild & Jordan, 1903, Novit. zool. 9 (Suppl.): 337.

Type locality: Pou-lin, China [Hanyuan, Sichuan Province, China].

(Taxonomic notes. (i) Chu & Wang (1980) illustrate a specimen of Cypoides chinensis (Rothschild & Jordan, 1903) as Laothoe sinica and many other Chinese authors have perpetuated this error. Zhao & Hu (1987) list this species as Amorpha amurensis, as do many other Chinese authors. The single-brooded Laothoe amurensis is confined to the boreal zones of north-eastern China and the Altai of Xinjiang, and references to this species from other regions of China are erroneous and refer to L. sinica.

(ii) This double-brooded species is confined to areas of temperate deciduous forest, a major feature which sets it apart from the closely-related L. amurensis.)


BIOGEOGRAPHICAL AFFILIATION

Holarctic; eastern Palaearctic region. Pleistocene refuge: Polycentric -- Sinotibetan and Yunnan refugia.


ADULT DESCRIPTION AND VARIATION

Wingspan: 75--95mm. Closely resembles L. amurensis and, like that species, generally lacking a rust-red patch at base of hindwing, although there may be a tint of brown or red present in some individuals.


Male Laothoe sinica, Shaanxi, China.

ADULT BIOLOGY

Little is known about the behaviour of this species except that males are strongly drawn to light. Around Beijing L. sinica occurs below 500m altitude; however, in Sichuan and Yunnan it is generally found above 2500m, often as high as 4000m.


FLIGHT-TIME

Bivoltine; mid May to mid June and again in July/August.


EARLY STAGES

Undescribed.

Hostplants. Various species of Populus and Salix (Wang, 1988).


PARASITOIDS

Unknown.


DISTRIBUTION

Endemic to China, with confirmed records from the Provinces of Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Zhejiang (Tianmu Shan), Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan and eastern Xizang/Tibet.


Confirmed distribution of Laothoe sinica.

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