oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - Preliminary observations on sound production in South African hawk moths (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae)

Volume 55, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0013-8789



Sound production in sphingid moths is a widespread phenomenon, but has never been investigated in the African members of the family. Two ways of producing sound are known in hawk moths: pharyngeal and genital. Pharyngeal sound is generated by an airstream forced through the pharyngeal tract (Prell 1920; Busnel & Dumortier 1959) and thus far only known in the genus Acherontia (subfamily Sphinginae), of which adults of both sexes are capable of producing a loud squeaking noise when in distress.

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