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Agrius convolvuli

Agrius convolvuli , Convolvulus Hawk-moth

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Panorpida
Cladus: Amphiesmenoptera
Ordo: Lepidoptera
Subordo: Glossata
Cladus: Coelolepida
Cladus: Myoglossata
Cladus: Neolepidoptera
Infraordo: Heteroneura
Cladus: Eulepidoptera
Cladus: Ditrysia
Cladus: Apoditrysia
Cladus: Obtectomera
Cladus: Macroheterocera
Superfamilia: Bombycoidea

Familia: Sphingidae
Subfamilia: Sphinginae
Tribus: Sphingini
Subtribus: Acherontiina
Genus: Agrius
Species: Agrius convolvuli

Agrius convolvuli (Linnaeus, 1758)

Sphinx convolvuli Linnaeus, 1758 (original combination)
Sphinx patatas Ménétriés, 1857
Sphinx roseafasciata Koch, 1865
Sphinx pseudoconvolvuli Schaufuss, 1870
Protoparce distans Butler, 1876
Protoparce orientalis Butler, 1876


Hogenes, W. & C.G. Treadaway, 1998: The Sphingidae (Lepidoptera) of the Philippines. Nachrichten des Entomologischen Vereins Apollo Supplement 17: 17–132.

Vernacular names
suomi: Kiertokiitäjä
français: Sphinx du liseron
magyar: Folyófűszender, szulákszender
svenska: Åkervindesvärmare

Agrius convolvuli, the convolvulus hawk-moth, is a large hawk-moth. It is common throughout Europe, Asia, Africa,[3] Australia[4] and New Zealand,[5] partly as a migrant. In New Zealand, it is also known in the Māori language as hīhue.[6]

Description and habits

The wingspan is 80–105 mm. This hawkmoth's basic coloration is in grayish tones, but the abdomen has a broad gray dorsal stripe and pink and black bands edged with white on the sides. The hindwings are light gray with darker broad crosslines.[7]

Its favourite time is around sunset and during the twilight, when it is seen in gardens hovering over the flowers. This moth is very attracted to light, so it is often killed by cars on highways. Its caterpillars eat the leaves of the Convolvulus, hence its Latin name "convolvuli". Other recorded food plants include a wide range of plants in the families Araceae, Convolvulaceae, Leguminosae and Malvaceae. It can be a pest of cultivated Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato or kūmara) in New Zealand and the Pacific. It feeds on the wing and has a very long proboscis (longer than its body) that enables it to feed on long trumpet-like flowers such as Nicotiana sylvestris.[8]

The caterpillars can be in a number of different colours. As well as brown (pictured below) they have been seen in bright green and black.[9]
Similar species
A. convulvuli is unmistakable in the eastern area of distribution, in the western area of distribution it can be mistaken for Agrius cingulatus. This species, found mainly in South and Central America, is repeatedly detected on the western shores of Europe. Agrius cingulatus can be distinguished on the basis of the clearly stronger pink colouring of the abdominal segments and a similarly coloured rear wing base. In addition, Agrius convolvuli form pseudoconvolvuli Schaufuss, 1870 has some resemblance with North American species in the genus Manduca, for instance Manduca sexta.


"CATE Creating a Taxonomic eScience - Sphingidae". Archived from the original on 2012-11-13. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
Pittaway, A. R.; Kitching, I. J. "Agrius convolvuli (Linnaeus, 1758) -- Convolvulus hawkmoth". Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
Butler, Arthur Gardiner (1879). "Lepidoptera". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. 168: 541–544. JSTOR 109269.
"Ozanimals". Ozanimals. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
"Agrius convolvuli (Linnaeus, 1758)". Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd. Retrieved 16 July 2017. "hīhue - Māori Dictionary". Retrieved 2018-02-14.
Hampson, G. F. (1892). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma: Moths Volume I. Taylor and Francis – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Michael Chinery, Collins Guide to the Insects of Great Britain and Western Europe
Pittaway, A. R.; Kitching, I. J. "Agrius convolvuli (Linnaeus, 1758) -- Convolvulus hawkmoth". Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic. Retrieved December 13, 2018.

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