Pachylia ficus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Rose-Smyth, M. C., Askew, R. R., van, P. A., Stafford, B., Simon, M. J., Goss, G. J. & Rozycki, R., 2022, A checklist of the hawkmoths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) of the Cayman Islands: with implications for the pollination of the ghost orchid Dendrophylax fawcettii Rolfe (Orchidaceae: Angraecinae) and consideration of bat predation, Insecta Mundi 2022 (933), pp. 1-27 : 22-24

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Pachylia ficus (Linnaeus, 1758)


Pachylia ficus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Not recorded by Jordan (1940) or Askew (1980).

Prior record

Grand Cayman specimens in the Natural History Museum London, accessioned 1911, collected by T.M. Savage English (Askew 1994). These specimens were probably collected in George Town (Savage English 1916).

Later records

Grand Cayman viii.1968 George Town (Wayne Klopp, MPM) unlocalised (F.D. Bennett, UWIZM)

vii.1982 1♂ George Town (D.R. Askew, RRA)

1985 1♂ George Town MRCU light trap (RRA)

Pre-1989 unlocalised (Richard Ground, P) (Ground 1989, p. 15)

vii.1992 1♂ George Town (Askew, RRA)

28.i.2005 George Town sunset, nectaring flowers of Tecoma stans (shamrock) (Stafford, P) unlocalised, reared on fig (S. Frederick, DAGC)

11.ii.2006 Mastic Trail south end at rest on tree trunk (Askew)

26.viii.2007 George Town (Stafford)

15.i.2008 Bodden Town at rest in porch (Askew)

25.ii.2009 Lower Valley at rest in Agricultural Pavilion (Askew)

7.iii.2009 Bodden Town at rest in porch (Askew)

19.vii.2011 Valley Gardens 20:15, on porch wall, examined and released (Rose-Smyth)

27.viii.2011 Agriculture Grounds 08: 42 larvae on Maclura tinctoria (L.) D. Don ex Steud (fustic tree) (RoseSmyth, P)

19.xii.2011 George Town, Mary St., early evening, larva on undercroft pillar of office building (Rose-Smyth)

10.i.2012 Valley Gardens 18:25 at ornamental Ixora dusk (Rose-Smyth, P)

29.xii.2012 Agriculture Grounds 11:59, larva being eaten by Coccyzus minor Gmelin ( Cuculidae ) (mangrove cuckoo) (Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet, P) Fig. 5 View Figures 2–7 .

23.ii.2013 Valley Gardens 7:02, in flowering Broughtonia R. Br. hybrid orchid, shifted to nearby stems when watered and remained all day, departure at dusk not observed (Rose-Smyth, P)

9.iii.2013 George Town emerged from pupa found 22.ii.2013 at base of M. tinctoria (Stafford) 1♀ Valley Gardens 22:10, on porch wall (Rose-Smyth, P).

09.viii.2015 1♀ Valley Gardens dusk, at yellow Allamanda spp (Rose-Smyth)

24.viii.2015 1♀ Valley Gardens 18:57-21:46 at wet Ixora and at uv light (Rose-Smyth, P)

16.iii.2016 1♀ Valley Gardens 8:15, ragged margins forewing (Rose-Smyth, P)

08.iv.2016 1♀ Valley Gardens 07:17, in west orchid house, worn individual hanging on cultivated orchid (Rose-Smyth, P)

16.iv.2016 Valley Gardens 8:00 in orchid house, fresh bright individual hanging on same plant as the prior (Rose-Smyth, P)

01 & 02.i.2017 Valley Gardens, dusk, at white Ixora (Rose-Smyth)

23.i.2017 Valley Gardens 20:50, on wall (Rose-Smyth, P) Valley Gardens 19:03, at white Ixora (Rose-Smyth, P) Colliers (SGR) 11:00 appearing to be searching for oviposition sites.

10.ii.2018 1♀ Valley Gardens 19:59, on wall (Rose-Smyth, P)

13.ii.2018 Valley Gardens 21:26, at uv light; worn forewing (Rose-Smyth, P)

15.ii.2018 1♀ Valley Gardens 20:00, at uv light (Rose-Smyth, MCR).

01.iv.2018 Valley Gardens 19:27, uv light, left forewing tip torn (Rose-Smyth, P)

05.iv.2018 1♂ Valley Gardens 21:46, at uv light (Rose-Smyth, P, MCR) Fig. 6 View Figures 2–7 .

07.v.2018 2 Valley Gardens 21:09, at uv light (Rose-Smyth, P)

Madoryx pseudothyreus (Grote, 1865)

Askew (1980) Little Cayman 4 unsexed 10–30.vii.1975 Pirates Point in mv light trap (present location unknown), 1♂ 28.vii.1975 central forest south of Sparrowhawk Hill in mv light trap (RRA).

Later records

None found.

The five specimens of M. pseudothyreus collected by Askew (1980) in Little Cayman remain the only known examples of the species in the Cayman Islands. The species is of limited distribution in Cuba, South Florida and nearby islands (Tuttle 2007) and recently confirmed to comprise three allopatric subspecies: pseudothyreus , floridensis, and bahamensis (Melichar and Řezáč 2013). With only one individual now remaining available for comparison it is not possible to assign a subspecies designation to the Little Cayman specimen. The larval food plant is, unusually for the genus, Avicennia germinans (black mangrove), and the larvae pupate in cocoons attached to branches of the host plant above the salt water in which they grow (Minno and Emmel 1990). Careful searching for larvae might result in this species being recorded from Grand Cayman. The larval food plant does not occur in Cayman Brac (Proctor 2012).

Aellopos tantalus zonata (Drury, 1773)

Jordan (1940) Grand Cayman attributed to Sesia tantalus zonata (Drury 1773) , 1♀ 10.vii.1938 Hut Road. Askew (1980) Little Cayman 2 28.vii.1975 central forest south of Sparrowhawk Hill flying at dusk of which 1♂ in collection (RRA).

Later records

Grand Cayman

13.viii.1968 George Town, specimen of Aellopos , identified to genus only, Wayne Klopp (MPM)

summer 1997 Newlands (F.J. Burton, NTCI)

27.xi.2004 George Town nectaring at Bauhinia divaricata L. (bull-hoof) (Stafford)

13.xii.2004 at cultivated Vitex agnus-castus L. (Carla Reid, P)

31.i.2006 High Rock (RRA)

8.ii.2006 Botanic Park (Askew) Lords Way, Prospect, George Town (Tracy Galvin, DEGC)

23.ii.2009 Bodden Town (Askew)

22.xii.2010 Valley Gardens 07:00, at white Ixora (Rose-Smyth)

02.vii.2011 Valley Gardens 07:00, trapped in orchid gazebo, captured, inspected and released, the same or another individual seen in afternoon (Rose-Smyth)

10.vii.2011 North Side, Mastic Trail 10:07 (Stuart Mailer, P)

26.viii.2011 Valley Gardens, in orchid gazebo, flew into adjacent cultivated pink Bouganvillea Comm. ex Juss. (Rose-Smyth)

28.xi.2011 at cultivated red Ixora (Michael Austin, P)

07.i.2012 Valley Gardens (Rose-Smyth) 07:00–7:30, nectaring on pink Bouganvillea (Rose-Smyth)

23 & 24.ii.2013 Valley Gardens, early morning each time, in west shrubs and white Ixora (Rose-Smyth) 07.i.2015 Valley Gardens, morning (Rose-Smyth) Lower Valley, Lottery Rd. (Rose-Smyth, MCR)

5.xi.2015 Colliers Wilderness Road at yellow Asteraceae flowers (Askew) Colliers (SGR)

25.iii.2018 Valley Gardens 18:00, released from ceiling of orchid gazebo (Rose-Smyth) Lower Valley, Lottery Rd. (near Agricultural Grounds) 16:30–17: 30 in mixed secondary growth (Rose-Smyth)

03.ix.2019 Lower Valley, Lottery Rd. (near Agricultural Grounds) 09:05 nectaring at Croton linearis Jacq. (Rosemary) (Rose-Smyth)

Little Cayman

2008 Nature Trail (Frank Roulstone III)

ii.2009 nectaring at Suriana maritima L. (jennifer/bay cedar) flowers (Frank Roulstone III) Coppice Rd., east (SGR)