Three Hawkmoths from Brazil

Brazilian Sphinx Moths
Location: Amazon River, Brazil
February 21, 2012 4:01 pm
Thanks to your bug of the month I worked out that the last picture I’d sent you was a mole cricket, which I later whittled down to a tawny mole cricket. I’ve also worked out that many of the moths that landed on our cruise ship were sphinx moths, and I’ve identified some. Confused about the one that looks like a black Pandora Sphinx though, and another one that I have no idea what it was.
Signature: Tracey

Sphinx Moth, possibly Eumorpha anchemolus

Dear Tracey,
This is a real challenge.  We are turning to the Sphingidae of the Americas website and then following the indices by nation for Brazil, there is a huge list of possibilities to search through.  We are going to attempt a few identifications and then contact Bill Oehlke to see if we are correct with any of them.  The first photo in our posting is what we suspect you believe to look like a black Pandora Sphinx, and it may be in the same genus.   It resembles Eumorpha anchemolus that we found on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.

Sphinx Moth, possibly Eumorpha anchemolus

  It also appears that you have submitted two different views of the same moth, though we are not certain of that.

Sphinx Moth: possibly Pachylioides resumens???

The third moth in our posting reminds us of a Ficus Sphinx and there are several members of the genus in Brazil, though none seem to match your moth.  Your individual more closely resembles Pachylioides resumens which we found on the Sphingidae of the Americas website.  All of our identifications are just guesses and we hope Bill Oehlke can either confirm or correct our amateur identification attempts.

Tracey Responds
Thank you so much for taking the time to find out.  I’ve looked at the links and you seem to be spot on.  For info, the photos of the possible may be the same moth, but I think perhaps not, because they were taken 3 days apart and there were quite a few examples that landed on the ship.  In fact it is amazing the how many different moths and insects came aboard of a night time.
Thank you again for your help. Because of your website, I also identified gawdy sphinx’s, streaked sphinx’s, black witches, and gorgeous pink Spanish Moths.  And the very large and beautiful moth I photographed last year is actually a white witch. Awesome.   But I have so many photographs to work through.  Please keep up the good work.

Bill Oehlke confirms identification
Hi Daniel,
I agree with your determinations. Please see if you can get a more precise location and also forward to me contact info of photographer or ask her to contact me so that I might add the images to the data base and display on internet, credited to photographer.

Dear Tracey,
We are attaching Bill Oehlke’s confirmation of our identification.  We hope you will allow Bill to post your photos on his very comprehensive website.  He also likes very detailed sighting information.  Moths often have very localized populations.
P.S.  We can’t wait to post your White Witch photo.  Can you please supply more details on that sighting, like location, time of day, terrain.  This are all interesting details we love to post.

Hi again Daniel
…  The first Anchemola Sphinx photograph was taken on 18 Jan 2012.  The moth had landed on our cruise ship (Marco Polo) overnight.  The ship was anchored outside Icoaraci, near Belem, Brazil that morning.  I’ve worked out that the second Anchemola Sphinx is a different moth, this one appeared on the ship on the morning of 21 Feb 2012.  We were anchored in the middle of the Amazon river near Almeirim.  I do have another couple of clear pictures (one with scale). if required of the second moth, and many more pictures of similar sphinx moths taken last year.   More than happy for Bill to use them, if he needs a name, it’s Tracey Heath, in Richmond, North Yorkshire.
I’m very pleased you all liked them.

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