Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic

(including Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, western Siberia and western Central Asia)

by A.R. Pittaway

Male Agrius convolvuli, Algeria.

Systematic List

Note: The Oriental species Ambulyx lahora (Butler, [1875]) has been collected once in eastern Afghanistan (Bashgal Kamu, Nuristan, 15.iv.1971, leg. C. Naumann). This is outside the range of this work.

Note: The Afrotropical species Hippotion balsaminae (Walker, 1856) has been recorded from the Hoggar Mountains of Algeria (Eitschberger, Mooser & Müller, 2014). This is outside the range of this work.

Coverage and sources

This work is a detailed study of the species and subspecies of Sphingidae that occur regularly within the zoogeographical boundaries of the western Palaearctic region, with particular emphasis on their ecology and dynamic biogeography: notes on their morphology and taxonomy are also provided. The Hyles euphorbiae 'complex' is analysed in more detail with regard to ecological and biological factors. With about 71 percent of the region's sphingid taxa being endemic, the treatment of the western Palaearctic as a distinct sub-region of the Holarctic is justified. The zoological and botanical delimitation of the sub-region is given and a small gazetteer is provided.

The four main published sources of information for this web site were/are:

PITTAWAY, A. R. (1993). The hawkmoths of the western Palaearctic, 240pp., 13 pls. London & Colchester, UK: Harley Books.

PITTAWAY, A. R. (1995). Sphingidae of the western Palaearctic: their ecology and biogeography. PhD Thesis, Imperial College, University of London, UK.

KITCHING, I. J. & CADIOU, J.-M. (2000). Hawkmoths of the world; an annotated and illustrated revisionary checklist (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae), x + 227pp., 8 pls. Ithaca & London, USA & UK: Cornell University Press.

KITCHING, I. J. (2019). Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory --- STI. London, UK: NHMUK.


Many references were consulted in the preparation of this work; these are listed in the reference section. Additionally, this work would have been difficult to produce without the help, advice and guidance received from many people in many ways. These are acknowledged in the acknowledgements section.

What's new

Find out what's been added or changed.

Links to other sites of interest

A list of internet sites dealing with Sphingidae and Lepidoptera in general.

Moths of the moment

Sphinx franckii Neumoegen, 1893 Picture -- Franck's Sphinx.

Sphinx perelegans Henry Edwards, 1874 Picture -- Elegant Sphinx.

National Moth Week.

Last updated on: 3 June 2024
Site created: 29 March 1997

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This reference can be quoted in publications as: Pittaway, A.R. (2024). Sphingidae of the Western Palaearctic (including Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, western Siberia and western Central Asia). https://tpittaway.tripod.com/sphinx/list.htm. [Site accessed: ]

Tony Pittaway
8 Fairfield
Oxon OX10 9QA
England, UK

e-mail: tpittaway@aol.com