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Moths of the Amazon and Andes
Pluto Sphinx
Madoryx plutonius  HÜBNER, 1822
Superfamily - BOMBYCOIDEA
Family - SPHINGIDAE
subfamily - MACROGLOSSINAE
Tribe -

Madoryx plutonius, Rio Madre de Dios, 400m, Peru © Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
There are 4 species in the genus Madoryx, distributed variously from Florida to Bolivia. The genus is closely allied to Hemeroplanes and Callionima. The 3 genera are characterised by the presence of a keel at the tip of the abdomen. All species in these genera also have a silver mark in the discal cell of the forewings. In Madoryx this is triangular, whereas in Hemeroplanes it forms a long streak, and in Callionima it is shaped like a tobacco pipe.
Madoryx plutonius is found from Mexico to Bolivia and southern Brazil.
Habitats
This species occurs in primary and secondary rainforest at altitudes between sea level and about 1200m.
Lifecycle
The caterpillar is similar in appearance to that of a Geometrid, with reduced prolegs and enlarged flattened anal claspers. When young it has a long thin horn at the tail end, which reduces to a stubby cone by the final instar. It rest with it's body arched.
The pupa is deep glossy brown and has orange markings on the abdomen.
Adult behaviour

The disruptive pattern of the wings enables the moth to blend perfectly amongst the twigs and leaf litter where it rests during daylight hours. It flies from dusk to midnight or thereabouts, and comes readily to tungsten, fluorescent or mercury vapour lighting.

 

 

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