Two new records of Hong Kong Sphingidae

The Oleander Hawk Moth Daphnis nerii (Linnaeus) (Lep.; Sphingidae) in Hong Kong

Macroglossum saga (Butler, 1878) (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) finally found in Hong Kong

Endoclita species (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae) newly recorded in Hong Kong

New moth species for Hong Kong; 1997 records

Two new records of Hong Kong Sphingidae

On 3 March 1995 the author met Dr. Ian Kitching in the Natural History Museum (BMNH), London, to confirm the status of several doubtful Hong Kong Macroglossum species. The first specimen Dr. Kitching noted was Macroglossum glaucoptera Butler, which was previously misidentified as M. bombylan Boisduval (Li, 1992). This represents the first record for Hong Kong and southern China. The single specimen was collected on 22 June 1992 at Butterfly Beach Park, Tuen Mun, nectaring on flowers of Durenta rupens. The species' geographical range is from Sri Lanka to the Sundas, and thus Hong Kong is at the very northern limit.

The second new record is Macroglossum poecilum Rothschild and Jordan. This species was recorded from southern Guangdong more than seventy-five years ago (Mell, 1922), however the first recorded Hong Kong specimen was collected on 29 October 1992, ex. ova on Lasianthus chinensis (Rubiaceae) at Sha Lo Tung.

Identification of the food plant is useful because although Mell located the species and described it as "a large leaf with feathery veins" (Kitching, pers. comm.), it was never identified. The larvae pupated on 12 November and a total of 3 adults emerged, on 26 and 27 November and 5 December 1992. A second batch of two specimens (1 second and 1 mature instar) was collected from Kam Shan Tree Walk, Kam Shan Country Park. These emerged on 8 and 15 June, respectively. Identification has been confirmed by comparison of the prepared genitalia with material at BMNH, with the aid of Dr. Kitching.

The discoveries reported above bring to 17 the number of Macroglossum species recorded from Chinese territory, fifteen having been reported by Tennent (1992). With the additional discovery of Daphnis nerii (Linnaeus) in Hong Kong by Aston and Kendrick (see below), of which the author has also recorded one specimen at Tin Shui Wai (6 December 1997), the total number of Hong Kong Sphingidae now stands at at least 67 species [see Kendrick, page 15].

Kent H. K. Li

Li, K. H. K. (1992). Notes on a collection of Macroglossum and other species (Lepidoptera, Sphingidae) in Hong Kong. Mem.HK. Nat. Hist. Soc 19: 1-3.

Mell, R. (1922). Beitrage zur Faun Sinica (II) Biologie und Systematik der sudchinesischen Sphingiden Zugleich ein Versuch einer Biologie tropischer Lepidopteren uberhaupt. Berlin.

Tennant, W. J (1992) The hawk moths (Lepidoptera Sphingidae) of Hong Kong and South-east China. Entomologist's Record & Journal of Variation 104: 88-112

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The Oleander Hawk Moth Daphnis nerii (Linnaeus) (Lep.; Sphingidae) in Hong Kong

Tennant (1992) lists the Oleander Hawk Moth Daphnis nerii (Linnaeus, 1758) as an erroneous record for Hong Kong. He noted the record (as Daphnis neu (sic.) in Hill, Hore & Thornton, (1982) was based on a single specimen, determined and labelled D. nerii by D.S.Hill, in the Hong Kong University Collection, was actually a specimen of the similar Oriental Oleander Hawk Moth D. hypothous (Cramer, 1780).

D. hypothous occurs from the Indo-Australian tropics to Vanuatu (Holloway, 1987), within China from Yunnan, Sichuan and Hainan (Zhu & Wang, 1997, as Deilephila hypothous) and has been recorded several times in Hong Kong (Kendrick, pers. obs.; Kent Li, pers. comm..; Tennant, loc. cit.) whereas D. nerii ranges from Africa through to east Asia (D'Abrera, 1986), within China from Yunnan (Zhu & Wang loc. cit., as Deilephila nerii) and Taiwan (Wang, 1995), also from Thailand (Inoue et. al., 1997) and was recently recorded in Macau (Easton & Pun, 1996). It should therefore be expected to occur in Hong Kong. It is not surprising that D. nerii has not been recorded by light trapping in Hong Kong before, as Inoue et. Al. (loc. cit.) comment that although D. hypothous commonly comes to light, D. nerii seldom does so.

Recent observations by Paul Aston have resulted in D. nerii being recorded in Shau Ki Wan, Hong Kong Island on 12 Nov.96 (1), 18 Nov.96 (2), 14 Feb.97 (1), 22 Oct.97 (1), 22 Nov.97 (1) & 15 Dec.97 (1) and at Tseun Wan taxi station, New Territories on 19 Oct.97 (1). All these specimens were settled on walls in well lit open areas, but none were close to the lights. In addition to these records, singletons of D. nerii have recently been recorded by Roger Kendrick at the Kadoorie Agricultural Research Centre, Shek Kong, New Territories on 22 Oct.97 (at mercury vapour light trap) and by Kent Li on a basement wall in Tin Shui Wai, Yuen Long, New Territories on 6 Dec.97.

The two species of Daphnis found in Hong Kong (Figure 1) can be easily separated by forewing patterning, specifically the different shapes of the submedial and postmedial fascia (curved towards the forewing base on the costa of D. hypothous, away from the base on the Costa of D. nerii) and the apical end of the terminal fascia (Figure 2).

D. nerii can be expected to breed in Hong Kong, as Easton & Pun (loc. cit.) noted that it bred in Macau on Oleander Nerium sp. (Apocynaceae) and Gardenia sp. (Rubiaceae). Bell & Scott (1937) recorded it in India breeding on Ervatamia sp. (Apocynaceae), a species of which (Cape Jasmine Ervatamia divaricata Burk.) is common in Hong Kong (Anon., 1971). Another species it can be expected on is Grape-vine Vitis vinifera (Vitaceae) which Gilchrist (1979) records D. nerii using as a hostplant in southern Europe.

Inoue et. Al. (loc. cit.) give the flight period for D. nerii in Thailand as from May to June and again from September to February. All Hong Kong's records so far seem to fit in the winter flight time. Maybe we can also expect to see these moths in May / June in Hong Kong?

Paul Aston & Roger Kendrick

Anon (1971). Hong Kong Shrubs Urban Services, Hong Kong.

Bell, T.R D & Scott, F B (1937). Sphingidae Moths vol. 5. The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Taylor & Francis, London.

D'Abrera, B.J. (1986). Sphingidae Mundi, Hawk Moths of the World. E W Classey, Faringdon, U.K.

Easton, E.R. & Pun, W W (1996) New records of moths from Macau, Southeast China. Tropical Lepidoptera 7 (2): 113-118

Gilchrist, W.L. R E. (1979). Sphingidae. In Heath, J. & Emmet, A.M. (eds.) The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland vol. 9. Curwen Books, London.

Hill, D S., Hore, PM. & Thornton, I.W. B. (1982). Insects of Hong Kong. Hong Kong University Press.

Holloway, J.D. (1987). The Moths of Borneo: Part 3. Superfamily Bombycoidea: families Lasiocampidae, Eupterotidae, Bombycidae, Brahmaeidae, Saturniidae, Sphingidae. Southdene Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur.

lnoue H., Kennett R.D. & Kitching I.J. (1997). The Moths of Thailand - Vol. 2: Sphingidae Chok Chai Press, Bangkok.

Tennant, W.J. (1992). The Hawk Moths (Lep.: Sphingidae) of Hong Kong and South-east China The Entomologist's Record & Journal of Variation 104: 88-112.

Wang, H-y. (1995). Guide book to insects in Taiwan:9, Bombycidae, Thyatiridae, Limacodidae, Lasiocampidae, Sphingidae. Chu Hai Publishing (Taiwan) Co. , Taipei.

Zhu, H-f & Wang, L-y. (1997). Fauna Sinica Insecta Vol 11. Lepidoptera; Sphingidae. Science Press, Beijing.

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Macroglossum saga (Butler, 1878) (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) finally found in Hong Kong

Tennant (1992) noted that a specimen of Macroglossum corythus Walker housed in the HKU collection was labelled "Macroglossum saga D.S. Hill det. 1976" and thus listed M. saga as an erroneous record, with no specimens known from Hong Kong. However, Tennant saw no reason as to why it should not occur due to its widespread distribution from northern India, through Nepal, Thailand and southern China to Taiwan and Japan (D'Abrera, 1986; Inoue et al. 1997).

On 1 February 1998 an unidentified, robust Macroglossum species was taken at light during survey work at the Kadoorie Agricultural Research Centre. A tentative identification, using Inoue et al. (loc cit.), of M. saga was made once the specimen was preserved, on account of the narrow band on the hindwing and the extreme robustness of the body. The identification was subsequently determined by Ian Kitching of the Natural History Museum, London, to whom I extend my thanks. The specimen is illustrated below.

This finding, together with two other Macroglossum species new to Hong Kong (see above) brings the number of Macroglossum species found in Hong Kong to 18 and the number of Sphingidae to 69.

Roger Kendrick

D'Abrera, B.J. (1986). Sphingidae Mundi, Hawk Moths of the World. E.W. Classey, Faringdon, U K.

Inoue, H, Kennett, R.D. and Kitching, I.J. (1997) The Moths of Thailand Vol 2: Sphingidae. Chok Chai Press, Bangkok.

Tennant, W.J. (1992). The Hawk Moths (Lep: Sphingidae) of Hong Kong and South-east China. The Entomologist's Record & Journal of Variation 104: 88-112.

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Endoclita species (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae) newly recorded in Hong Kong

Lee & Winney (1981) do not list any Hepialidae for Hong Kong. Hill et al. (1982) note "no Swift Moths (Hepialidae) have been collected here, either as the low-flying crepuscular adults or as the long white (black-headed) soil inhabiting caterpillars." Galsworthy's list of Hong Kong moths (in prep.) has one species of hepialid, but no species of Endoclita Felder & Rogenhofer, 1874. During recent survey work at Kadoorie Agricultural Research Centre single individuals of two species of Endoclita have been recorded, both at rest under outdoor light sources (fluorescent and sodium vapour) about an hour after sunset. Identification to genus was made using Barlow (1982).

Photographs of the specimens were sent to Gaden Robinson (Natural History Museum, London) for determination and were identified as follows:

Endoclita davidi Poujade; leg R.C. Kendrick, KARC, Hong Kong, 3rd November 1997; det. G.S. Robinson.
Endoclita sinensis (Moore, 1877); leg. RC Kendrick, KARC, Hong Kong, 10th April 1997; det. G.S. Robinson.

E. davidi is a large species; the specimen illustrated (a female) has a wingspan of some 120 mm. It is known from several provinces in southern and eastern China (Robinson, pers. comm.). E. sinensis is more widespread, being known from China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea (Wang, 1996). Both records are firsts for Hong Kong. Barlow (1982) reports one species of Endoclita from Malaysia as a potential pest on Teak, being an internal stem borer.

I would like to thank Gaden Robinson for identifying the species. I should also like to ask for any records of these two species to be forwarded to me at KARC, with specimens being retained (best kept frozen) if at all possible.

Roger Kendrick

(tel. 2488 6499; fax 2488 5000; e-mail

Barlow, H.S. (1982). An Introduction to the Moths of South East Asia. Published by the author, distr. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur and E W. Classey, Faringdon, U K.

Hill, D.S., Hore, P.M. and Thornton, I.W.B. (1982). Insects of Hong Kong. Hong Kong University Press.

Lee, L.H.Y. & Winney, R. (1981). Check List of Agricultural Insects of Hong Kong 1981. Agriculture and Fisheries Department Bulletin No 2.164 pp.

Wang, H.Y. (1996). Guide book to insects in Taiwan: 17, Supplement of Moths. Chu Hai Publishing (Taiwan) Co.

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New moth species for Hong Kong; 1997 records

The following incomplete list is of species knowingly recorded for the first time in Hong Kong during research undertaken for my PhD. Unless stated, records are of species seen at mercury vapour light trap and the locality is Kadoorie Agricultural Research Centre, Shek Kong, N.T. Further new records will be reported at a later date for species whose identity to species group level has yet to be established, and for the majority of the "micro" moth families (especially Pyralidae, Gelechiidae, Oecophoridae and Tortricidae).

I express my gratitude to Tony Galsworthy, who determined the identifications (undertaking dissection of the genitalia where necessary) for many of the species listed by comparison with material at the Natural History Museum, London.


Comocritis taiwanensis Moriuti 24 May 1997


Anticrates species, probably undescribed 11 Jun. 1997

Thyridiae: Strigilinae

Banisia lobata Moore 24 May 1997

Geometridae: Oenochrominae

Sarcinodes restitura Walker 11 Jun.1997

Geometridae: Geometrinae

Maxates quadripunctata lnoue 28 Dec.1996

Spaniocentra kuniyukii Yazaki 8 Mar.1997

Eucyclodes albisparsa Warren 26 Apr.1997 Shan Liu Road, Plover cove (at the edge of Pat Sin Leng Country Park)

Geometridae; Sterrhinae

Scopula mecysma (Swinhoe, 1894) 5 Feb.1997 Problepsis eucircota Prout 26 Mar 1997

Geometridae: Larentiinae

Ecliptopera delecta (Butler, 1880) 6 Mar.1997

Chloroclystis conversa Warren 22 Mar.1997 Tai Po Kau Special Area

Chloroclystis admixtaria Walker 15 Jan.1997

GIaucoclystis griseorufa (Hampson, 1898) 28 Dec.1996

Eupithecia species near ustata Moore, possibly undescribed 1 Jan.1997

Eupithecia species near costalis Walker 5 Apr. 1997

Eupithecia rigida Swinhoe, 1892 26 Mar.1997

Sauris interruptata (Moore, 1888) 10 Mar.1997

Sauris species, probably undescribed 28 Apr.1997

Geometridae: Ennominae

Entomopteryx obliquilinea Moore

Myrtetea sericea Butler 8 Mar.1997


Epiplema moza Butler 8 Mar.1997


Hyperaeschra pallida Butler, 1880 10 May 1997

Arctiidae: Syntominae

Syntomis germana Felder, 1862 26 Apr. 1997 Shan Liu Road, Plover Cove

Noctuidae: Rivulinae

Rivula sasaphila Sugi 28 Feb.1997

Noctuidae: Hypeninae

Hypena albisigna Moore, 1885 10 May 1997

Hypena iconicalis Walker [1859] 1 Jan.1997

Hypena jocosalis Walker 12 Jan.1997

Hypena labatalis Walker, [1859] 5 Apr.1997

Hypena noctumalis Swinhoe 16 Jan.1997

Hypena occata Hampson, 1882 24 Feb.1997 (specimens in collection of K.Li have earlier dates but remained unidentified until viewed by R.C.K., dates from 1989 onwards, localities throughout the New Territories)

Hypena species near umbripennis Moore 10 Feb. 1997

Noctuidae: Euteliinae

Eutelia favillatrix Walker 22 Mar.1997 Tai Po Kau Special Area

Noctuidae: Sarrothripinae

Characoma ruficirra (Hampson, 1905) 28 Dec. 1996

Nycteola sinuosa Moore 25 Feb.1997

Noctuidae: Acontiinae

Naranga marginata Walker 26 Apr.1997 Shan Liu Road, Plover Cove


Chasmina judicata (Walker, 1858) 30 May 1997

Other species of note

Drepanidae: Thyatirinae

Thyatira batis (Linnaeus, 1758) is recorded from a second locality (Tai Po Kau Special Area; 9 May 1998). This late date and the freshness of the individual seen suggest this species has at least two broods a year; earlier records at KARC for March 1997, one worn individual, (Kendrick, 1997) and January 1998, several fresh males and one female, would fit this pattern well.

Noctuidae: Cuculliinae

Sugitania species, probably undescribed. Previously reported (Kendrick, 1997) as Sugitania lepida (Butler 1879); further research (Sugi, 1990; Owada, 1995) suggests this is an undescribed species. Only one female specimen is known, so a male is awaited before identification can be ascertained (Galsworthy, pers. comm.).

Roger Kendrick

Kendrick, RC (1997). New moth records. Porcupine! 16: 5.

Owada, M. (1995). A new cuculliine moth of the genus Sugitania (Lepidoptera, Noctuidae) from Taiwan. Spec Bull. Jpn. Soc. Coleopterol.,, Tokyo 4: 221-226.

Sugi, S. (1990) Two new species of Sugitania Matsumura (Noctuidae, Cuculliinae) from Japan. Tinea 13: 55-60.

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