Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory

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Distribution of Sphingid moths (Order: Lepidoptera) in Parli Panchayath, Palakkad District, Kerala

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2016
Authors:A. Krishnan
Journal:The Journal of Zoology Studies
Start Page:78
Date Published:10/2016

"Moths are nocturnal insects with dull colour, coming under Class Insecta, Order Lepidoptera. The most common lepidopteron families include Noctuidea, Arctiidae and Sphingidae. Sphingid moths are rare when compared to arctiid and noctuid moths because of the scarcity of host plants. A survey was done to analyse the diversity of Sphingid species in the Parli Panchayath, Palakkad District, this was the main objective of this study. The survey started from March –June 2011.The collection of moths were done by using a light trap and it was operated from 6:30-9:30 pm all the days. A total of 72 moths were collected, from which only 18 moths belong to the Family Sphingidae, which include 6 species. Hippotion boerhaviae seen in more number in Parli Panchayath, due to the presence of host plants like colocasia and yam followed by Macroglossum acquila. Genus Theretra was less in number in the study area when compared to other genus like Hippotion, Macroglossum etc. Based on the data, the number of sphingid moths was high in the month of May. The diversity of an insect species in an area may change with the change in host plants. So the plants should be conserved for the sustainable development of insects. In the current scenario, the cultivation of colocasia, yam and pea etc are in decreased level, if its production is increased, more number of sphingid moths will attract and the species diversity and abundance can be increased. The study gave a preliminary data of Sphingid moths in Parli Panchayath, and their host plants."

STI taxonomic comments: 
Six species were recorded of which four were misidentified: Acherontia styx (as A. lachesis); Hippotion rosetta (as H. boerhaviae); Macroglossum sitiene (as M. aquila); and Theretra silhetensis (as T. oldenlandiae).
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith