By: M Moré, IJ Kitching and AA Cocucchi
166 pages, 51 col plates
Language: Bilingual in English and Spanish
Hawkmoths are nocturnal lepidopterans that pass unnoticed by most people, but in Argentina they are some of the country's most spectacular insects. The caterpillars have stout bodies with dazzling colour patterns and a characteristic tail horn. As adults, the moths are high adept and aerobatic fliers that use their long tongues to drink nectar from flowers in the same way as hummingbirds, that is, while hovering. The family includes some of the largest moths in South America and also those with the longest tongues, Neococytius cluentius and Amphimoea walkeri, yet even specialists have largely overlooked them in Argentina, demonstrating our poor current knowledge of these noteworthy insects.
Until now an illustrated catalogue of Argentine Sphingidae has been lacking and the last checklist is already 70 years old. The present work includes an introduction to the biology, morphology and noteworthy aspects of the immature stages and of the adults. In addition, collection records, colour photographs and distribution maps are provided for the 106 species recorded from Argentina, together with keys to species of the larger genera. The present catalogue will facilitate identification of these fascinating insects and surely stimulate future studies of these moths, about which so much is still to be learned.
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