SMERINTHUS OCELLATUS ATLANTICUS Austaut, 1890.

GB: Eyed Hawkmoth, F: Sphinx Demi-paon, D: Abendpfauenauge, RU: Glazchatyi Brazhnik, S: Vide-Nattsvärmare, NL: Pauwoogpijlstaart, CZ: Zubokrídlec pavi, H: esti pávaszem, E: esfinge ocelada

Smerinthus atlanticus Austaut, 1890, Naturaliste 12: 190.

Type locality: Meridje [Meridja, near Kenadsa], Algeria.

(Taxonomic notes. (i) Although Austaut (1890) described this subspecies from specimens obtained ex larva from southern Morocco and from adults obtained from the province of Oudja on the Algerian frontier, the three syntypes deposited in the BM(NH) bear the locality Meridje [Meridja], which is a small village near Kenadsa, Algeria. Meridja is very close to the border with Morocco and may once have been 'included' in that country. To avoid confusion, the specimen illustrated in Pittaway (1993) on Plate 6, fig. 12 was designated as the LECTOTYPE of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, with the following particulars:

LECTOTYPE male labelled [ALGERIA:] Meridje [Meridja, near Kenadsa], Exampl. type; Type Austaut; Smer. atlanticus Austaut Le Naturaliste No. 83--15 Aout 1890; Rothschild Bequest B.M. 1939-1; [BM(NH)].

(ii) As the male genitalia are almost identical, and there is a great overlap in adult forms, subsp. protai Speidel & Kaltenbach (1981), from Sardinia, was synonymized by Pittaway (1993) with subsp. atlanticus and relegated to the status of form. The single specimen from Corsica is indistinguishable from Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus f. protai. However, it should be noted that some specimens appear morphologically to be intermediate between subsp. ocellatus and subsp. atlanticus, although the male genitalia are referable to subsp. atlanticus. Individuals superficially similar to Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus f. protai are also found in southern Spain (Rambur, 1942) and may represent a hybrid population.

(iii) Eitschberger et al. (1989) reverted atlanticus to specific rank but gave no valid reasons for doing so. This placement is rejected, especially as hybrids between subsp. atlanticus and subsp. ocellatus interbreed quite freely and vigorously over several generations.)


BIOGEOGRAPHICAL AFFILIATION

Holarctic; western Palaearctic region. Pleistocene refuge: Monocentric -- Atlantomediterranean and Mauritanian subsections of the Mediterranean refuge. Part of the present-day relict Mauritanian faunal element centred on the Middle and High Atlas Mountains (see de Lattin, 1967).


ADULT DESCRIPTION AND VARIATION

Male Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Meridje, Algeria. LECTOTYPE. Female Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus (summer form), Siniscola, Sardinia. HOLOTYPE of Smerinthus ocellatus protai. Male Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Ponte Leccia, Corsica (spring form).

Wingspan: 85--110mm. Larger and paler than subsp. ocellatus, but still subject to the same degree of variation. Individuals of the spring generation are smaller and darker than those of the summer generation. In the male genitalia, the sacculus is longer and distally narrower than in subsp. ocellatus; posterior half of aedeagus heavier and more strongly curved, almost elbowed.


Female of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol.

ADULT BIOLOGY

Frequents plantations and river banks overgrown with Salix and Populus.


Typical desert habitat of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Dadés Gorge, Morocco. Photo: © Tony Pittaway.

FLIGHT-TIME

Bivoltine; mainly April/May and July/August; individuals may be found from March until September.


EARLY STAGES

OVUM: As for subsp. ocellatus.


Egg of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol.

LARVA: Full-fed 70--90mm.


Newly hatched first instar larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol. Fully-fed first instar larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol. Second instar larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol. Third instar larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol. Third instar larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol. Early fourth instar larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol. Late fourth instar larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol. Full-grown green form larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol. Full-grown grey form larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol. Full-grown larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Tony Pittaway Full-grown larva of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol.

Very similar to that of subsp. ocellatus, but larger and with a stouter, uniformly blue-grey horn.

Found from early May until October.

Hostplants. Populus and Salix spp.

PUPA: 38--45mm. Similar in all respects to that of subsp. ocellatus.


Pupa of Smerinthus ocellatus atlanticus, Morocco. Photo: © Frank Deschandol.

PARASITOIDS

None recorded.


DISTRIBUTION

In North Africa, confined to the Atlas Mountains and their surrounding lowlands, from Morocco (Bleton, 1938; Rungs, 1981) to Tunisia (Danner, Eitschberger & Surholt, 1998); also on Sardinia (Speidel & Kaltenbach, 1981) and Corsica. (This link between North Africa and the two islands is also found in the Saharan Papilio saharae Oberthür and the endemic P. hospiton Guenee (Pierron, 1990).)

Extra-limital range. None.


OTHER SUBSPECIES

Europe, the northern Middle East and Central Asia as Smerinthus ocellatus ocellatus.


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