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Species Proserpinus terlooii - Terloo Sphinx - Hodges#7879

Mystery catapillar - Proserpinus terlooii Sphingid C-pillar - Proserpinus terlooii Larva - Proserpinus terlooii Larva - Proserpinus terlooii Pupa - Proserpinus terlooii Terloo sphinx - Proserpinus terlooii Terloo sphinx - Proserpinus terlooii Proserpinus terlooii
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Bombycoidea (Silkworm, Sphinx, and Royal Moths)
Family Sphingidae (Sphinx Moths)
Subfamily Macroglossinae
Tribe Macroglossini
Genus Proserpinus
Species terlooii (Terloo Sphinx - Hodges#7879)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Proserpinus terlooi Hy. Edwards, 1875
Arctonotus terlooi
Pterogon terlooii (misspelling Strecker, 1877)
Returned to Proserpinus by Hodges, 1971
Erroneously treated as a species of Arctonotus by d'Abrera, [1987]
Transferred back to Proserpinus by Carcasson & Heppner, 1996
Explanation of Names
At the request of Dr. Herman Behr, this species was named for Baron Popelaire de Terloo (sometimes Terloot), who collected the specimens in Behr's collection that Edwards described. Unfortunately or not, Edwards continued the "misprinted" (according to Behr) spelling "Terloo" from Behr's description of the butterfly Neophasia terlooii in 1869. An Attempt was made to amend the spelling of the butterfly but rejected as unjustified. In any event, there are many references to the baron in letters and scientific descriptions noting that he collected everything from mummies, to bugs, to birds in Chile, Peru, Mexico, and the Sierra Madres of California. No matter the spelling, Belgian nobleman Jean-Baptiste Joseph Louis Popelaire de Terloo (1810-1870) was a well-known explorer, born in Brussels, married in Chile and died in Algiers. Besides the moth and butterfly, Baron Terloo has a South American hummingbird (Discosura popelairii) named for him.
Wingspan 4.2-4.8 cm.
Larva to 4 cm.
Adult - uniform olive green with a darker median band. Hindwing is red with an olive green border.
Southern Arizona. (1)
Adults fly July and August.
Larval hosts are in Boerhavia (Nyctaginaceae) with specific records on scarlet spiderling (Boerhavia coccinea), Coulter's spiderling (B. coulteri) and erect spiderling (B. erecta). Oddly, all other members of this genus, and two related genera, feed on plants from the Evening Primrose family (Onagraceae). This fact is used as evidence for saltational evolution in Proserpinus.(2)
Life Cycle
Eggs; first instar larva; larva; larva; pupa; adult
Adults are not strongly attracted to lights. They are most often found at flowers in early evening or at night. Use a flashlight at night to find adults on flowers and larvae on host plants.
Print References
Edwards, Hy. 1875. Pacific Coast Lepidoptera, no. 11 - list of the Sphingidae of California and adjacent districts, with descriptions of new species. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 6: 90
Hodges, R.W. 1971. Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 21:p.141; pl.12.14
Holland, W.J. 1915. The moth book. Doubleday, Page & Company. p.71 (3)
Strecker, H., 1877. Lepidoptera, Rhopaloceres and Heteroceres, indigenous and exotic; with descriptions and colored illustrations (v. 14-15). Owen's Steam Book & Job Printing, Pl.14, f.2. (4)
Tuttle, J.P. 2007. Hawk moths of North America, a natural history study of the Sphingidae of the United States and Canada. Wedge Foundation p.192; pl.3.20 (5)
Works Cited
1.Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
Eric Eaton, Kenn Kaufman. 2006. Houghton Mifflin.
2.Evidence of repeated and independent saltational evolution in a peculiar genus of sphinx moths (Proserpinus. Sphingidae).
Daniel Rubinoff and Johannes J. Le Roux. 2008. PLoS One.
3.The Moth Book
W. J. Holland. 1922. Doubleday, Page & Company.
4.Lepidoptera, Rhopaloceres and Heteroceres, indigenous and exotic; with descriptions and colored illustrations (v. 14-15).
Herman Strecker. 1877. Owen's Steam Book & Job Printing.
5.The Hawk Moths of North America, A Natural History Study of the Sphingidae of the United States and Canada.
James P Tuttle. 2007. The Wedge Entomological Research Foundation Inc.
6.North American Moth Photographers Group