HYLES COSTATA (von Nordmann, 1851)

Female Hyles costata. Photo: © NHMUK Male Hyles costata. Photo: © NHMUK


Sphinx (Deilephila) costata von Nordmann, 1851, Bull. Soc. imp. Nat. Moscou 24(2): 444. Type locality: [Russia, Buryatia], Kjachta area [Kyachta].

Synonym. Sphinx costata von Nordmann, 1851.

Synonym. Celerio costata confusa (Gehlen, 1928).

Synonym. Hyles costata solida Derzhavets, 1979, Nasekomye Mongolii 6: 408, figs. 1b, 2b. Type locality: [Russian Far East, Amurskaya], Blagoveshchensk.

Note. Although the adults are visually very similar, Danner et al. (1998) separated Hyles costata from Hyles exilis Derzhavets (1979) using small differences in colour pattern and male genitalia. With the discovery of the very dissimilar larvae of both species (V. Dubatolov, pers. comm. 2010; Zolotuhin & Saldaitis, 2011), this separation is justified.


Wingspan: 70--82mm. On the lateral side of the first segement of the foreleg there are up to 9 spines (instead of 12 as in Hyles exilis) (Derzhavets, 1979).

Male Hyles costata, near Kokorya village, Russian Altai (Mongolian border area), vi.2015. Photo: © Svyatoslav Knyazev.


A species of dry meadows, steppe and woodland margins. In Transbaikalia, steppe along wide river valleys is preferred (Zolotuhin & Saldaitis, 2011).


China: vii (Heilongjiang). Mongolia: vi (Bulgan Prov.; Sèlèngè Prov.; Dornod Prov.; Ömnögov' Prov.; Hovd Prov.); vii (Uvs Prov.; Bayanhongor Prov.; Bulgan Prov.; Gov'-Altai Prov.; Hovd Prov.; Töv Prov.); viii (Hèntiy Prov.). Russia: vi-vii (Transbaikalia; Amurskaya); vii (Khakasskaya SSR; Tuva ASSR; Buryatia); viii (Transbaikalia).


OVUM: Unknown.


Immature final instar larva of Hyles costata, Onokhoi village, Buryatia, Russia, 23-24.vii.2007. Photo: © Sergei Gordeev. Immature final instar larva of Hyles costata, Onokhoi village, Buryatia, Russia, 23-24.vii.2007. Photo: © Sergei Gordeev. Full-grown final instar larva of Hyles costata, Onokhoi village, Buryatia, Russia, 23-24.vii.2007. Photo: © Sergei Gordeev.

PUPA: Unknown.

Larval hostplants. Unlike Hyles exilis, the only known hostplants of Hyles costata are species of Aconogonon (syn. Polygonum), Rumex and Polygonum (Zolotuhin & Saldaitis, 2011). The larvae illustrated were found on Aconogonon divaricatum (V. Dubatolov, pers. comm. 2010). In Mongolia it has also been found on Aconogonon chaneyi (Zagorinskiy, Gorbunov & Puntsagdulam, 2010).




China : Heilongjiang (??Buchalu, Xiao Hinggan Ling, 1100m); Shandong (Qingdao).

Mongolia: Hèntiy Prov. (90km N Öndörhaan); Uvs Prov. (NW Tere-Khol Nuur [lake], on border of Tuva ASSR, Russia, 1100m; 50km E Ulaangom, Uvs Nuur [lake]); Bayanhongor Prov. (8km ESE Bayanleg village, 1350m); Bulgan Prov. (63km W Erdenecogt, 1500m; 11 & 20 km W Bayannuur village on Bayan Nuur (near Suuz), 1000m; Khogno Khan Uul (Mts.), 22km W of Rasaant, 1270m); Sèlèngè Prov. (SE Bayanzogt village, 1600m); Dornod Prov. (Matad(stariy)); Gov'-Altai Prov. (SE corner of Dolgon Nuur [lake], 1200m; 10km SE Chechmort village, 1600m); Hovd Prov. (6km SW Hovd; Shurag River Valley, near Erdene-Buren Village, 1400m; near Mankhan, 1400m; Dzun-Dzhargalant-Khairkhan, Ar-Shatyn-Gol River valley, 2130m (47°44'N 92°27'E)); Ömnögov' Prov.; Töv Prov. (20km S Ulaan-Baatar).

Russia: Altai; Khakasskaya SSR (25km S Abakan); Tuva ASSR (Tere-Khol Nuur, 995m); Buryatia (Kyachta; Onokhoy village; Chita region; Beloozersk); Transbaikalia (Nizhniy Casuchey; Dahursky Nature Reserve; Kyra District, 990m; Solovyovsk; Sokhondo Nature Reserve, near Kyra; Undino-Posel'e); Amurskaya (Blagoveshchensk); Yevreyskaya (Radde).


Recorded from Mongolia (Puntsagdulam et al., 2005) and adjacent areas of Russia (where it co-occurs with Hyles exilis), with a few (suspect) records from farther east and south in China, in Heilongjiang and Shandong.

This species is probably much more widely distributed in northern China, as adults, which could be either this species or Hyles exilis, have been recorded from the Chinese Altai (Xinjiang), across Gansu, northern Shaanxi and Nei Mongol, to several more locations in Heilongjiang.

Global distribution of Hyles costata. Map: © NHMUK.


Holarctic; eastern Palaearctic region. Pleistocene refuge: Monocentric -- Sinopacific refugium.

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