Xylophanes chiron Drury 1770


Host plant:
Psychotria chiapensis
Caterpillar Description
Adult Images

 Other Images

Determined by: G. Gentry



Rearing Results and development times

As of 1999 N=14 rearings; 10 were parasitized, 2 eclosed, 2 died
Time as pupa: 18-25 days (N=3).

Host plants

Rubiaceae:Psychotria chiapensis, P. hebeclada, Hamelia patens


Tachinidae (N=8): Hyphantrophaga sp. (N=2), Drino sp. (N=1), Belvosia sp. (N=2)
Braconidae (N=2): Cotesia sp.


Observations and comments

The first and second instars of this species are green (see photo), changing to either purple or aqua in the third instar. When they are not feeding, early instar caterpillars hide in the terminal leaflets of the host plant while later instars (3rd-5th) hide at the base of the plant or under a branch. Several of the collections for this species were made by checking the bases of damaged plants. Caterpillars often eat half or part of a leaf, then move to a different leaf to feed. Prepupal caterpillars change color again and become much more snake-like. The eyespots become brown filled with black and the skin becomes brown with a scale pattern.
Although two individuals were parasitized by Cotesia sp., in both cases the caterpillar died in the 4th instar and collapsed, failing to hold on to any substrate and falling into the bottom of the rearing bag. The wasps exited and attempted to pupate but there were few survivors. The second caterpillar containing Cotesia sp. also was parasitized by tachinids. Both the flies and wasps emerged from the caterpillar but only flies survived.

Voucher location

Tulane University