LAOTHOE AMURENSIS SINICA Rothschild & Jordan, 1903

GB: Aspen 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 amurensis 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 amurensis is confined to the boreal zones of north-eastern China and the Altai of Xinjiang, and references to this subspecies from other regions of China are erroneous and refer to Laothoe amurensis sinica.

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


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


Wingspan: 75--95mm. Closely resembles Laothe amurensis amurensis and, like that subspecies, 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 amurensis sinica, 30 km N Huangling, Shaanxi, China, 24.vii.1995. Photo: © Tony Pittaway.


Little is known about the behaviour of this subspecies except that males are strongly drawn to light. Around Beijing Laothoe amurensis sinica occurs below 500m altitude.


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



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




Endemic to China and Korea, with confirmed records from the Chinese Provinces of Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Zhejiang (Tianmu Shan), Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan. The records from the Korean Peninsula appear to be all Laothoe amurensis sinica, as indicated by the specimens figured by Kim et al. (1982) and Park et al. (1999); however, this requires further study.

Confirmed distribution of Laothoe amurensis sinica.

Return to Hawkmoths of the western Palaearctic