Zoological Illustrations/VolII-Pl87

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Zoological Illustrations Volume II Plate 87.jpg

SPHINX Labruscæ,

Wild Vine Hawk-moth.

Generic Character.—See Pl. 81.

Specific Character.

S. alis integris; anticis virescentibus, fasciâ triangulari centrali maculoque fusco ornatis; posticis medio cæruleo-nigris, margine fulvo; abdominis lateribus punctis quinque niveis.
S. Wings entire; anterior greenish, with a central triangular band and black spot; posterior bluish black in the middle, the margin fulvous; sides of the body with five snowy spots.
S. Labruscæ. Gmelin, p. 2380. 14. Fab. Ent. Sys. 3. p. 377. Cramer, pl. 184. a.

Linnæus has well observed, that the great distinctions of his three genera of Lepidoptera, were, that Butterflies are seen on the wing only during the day; Hawk-moths, or Sphinxes, at the rising and setting of the sun; and Moths during the night. The insects of Europe, indeed, offer but few exceptions to these characters; but the habits of certain exotic tribes, in each of these families, partake both of one and the other in a remarkable manner. Thus, among the butterflies, there is a genus in South America (hitherto unnoticed), which fly only during the dusk of evening: a number of the Linnæan Hawk-moths prefer the meridian heat of the sun; and there are not wanting several moths which are only seen during the same period of the day.

The insect, however, before us, is of that tribe to which the remark of Linnæus is strictly applicable; and, although included in the Systema Naturæ, has remained without any correct representation, for it would be difficult to delineate a worse figure of it than that given by Cramer. Besides the row of five snowy white spots on each side of the body, there are four pair of others, more dusky, down the middle, and five small black dots near the outer margin of the fore wings; the colour of all beneath is a buff yellow, with two faint dusky oblique bars, and the middle of the fore wings sea green.

I have received this species from Jamaica; in its larva state it appears to feed on the wild vine.