AMBULYX MACULIFERA, Walker, 1866 -- Spotted gliding hawkmoth

Female Ambulyx maculifera (upperside). Photo: © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London (NHMUK). Male Ambulyx maculifera (upperside). Photo: © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London (NHMUK).


Ambulyx maculifera Walker, 1866, List of the specimens of lepidopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum 35: 185. Type locality: [India, West Bengal] Darjiling [Darjeeling].

Synonym. Oxyambulyx maculifera (Walker, 1866).

Synonym. Ambulyx consanguis Butler, 1881.

Note. Erroneously synonymized with Ambulyx substrigilis (Westwood, 1847) by Hampson, [1893], Fauna Brit. India 1: 77. Reinstated as a good species by Rothschild & Jordan, 1903, Novit. zool. 9 (suppl.): 195 (key), 197. Transferred to Ambulyx by Bridges, 1993, Cat. Fam. Gen. Spec. Sphingidae of the World: VIII. 2.


Wingspan: 110-130mm. Recognizable by the presence of a large sub-basal patch at the costal margin of forewing, by the mesial line on abdomen developing in the male into a patch upon the eighth segment, the strong curvature of the submarginal line of forewing (this line reaching the edge of the wing at M2), and by the posterior bars composing the discal line of forewing being obviously arched. Forewing ochraceous-clay colour above in the male, nearly burnt-umber brown shaded with grey in the female. A few spines on fore-tibia externally near apex. Underside of wings much shaded with tawny in the basal area, especially in the female (Bell & Scott, 1937).

In the male genitalia, eighth abdominal sternite mesially very slightly sinuate, the sinus limited on each side by a small tooth. Aedeagus dorsally gradually narrowed to a point, and devoid of any additional armature. The harpe has a very heavy, strongly curved, submesial hook, which is the distal prolonged part of a double submesial ridge; ventral process curved downwards, rather blunt, finger-like. Tenth sternite mesially lobed as in A. sericeipennis (Bell & Scott, 1937).


Has been found at 1500m altitude (Jiang, Lou & Zhang, 2021).


China: 26.vii (Yunnan, Xima).


OVUM: Unknown.

LARVA: Unknown.

PUPA: Unknown.

Larval hostplants. Unknown.




China: Yunnan (Xima, Yingjiang County, 1500m).


Pakistan (Punjab, Murree; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Nathia Gali (Rafi et al., 2014)), Nepal, Bhutan (Irungbam & Irungbam, 2019), India (Sikkim; Darjeeling, West Bengal; Assam; Manipur), China (Yunnan, Yingjiang County (Jiang, Lou & Zhang, 2021)), and northern Myanmar/Burma.

Global distribution of Ambulyx maculifera. Map: © Tony Pittaway.



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