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


  • M. C. Rose-Smyth
  • R. R. Askew
  • P. A. van B. Stafford
  • M. J. Simon
  • G. J. Goss
  • R. Rozycki


Bat roosts, larval food plants, Macrotus waterhousii, nectar, new island records, phenology, scent


This checklist synthesises historic collections of Sphingidae (Lepidoptera) made during the summer months in the Cayman Islands in 1938 and 1975 with modern records drawn from a variety of sources. We report observations and collections made in all seasons of the year and provide natural history and larval food details. Four species, Phryxus caicus (Cramer) in all three islands, plus Isognathus rimosa (Grote), Enyolugubris (Linnaeus), and Eumorpha satellitia (Linnaeus) in Grand Cayman only, are here reported as new records, for a total of 25 sphingid species occurring in the Cayman Islands. Seven species are new records for Grand Cayman, five are added for Little Cayman and two for Cayman Brac. Potential hawkmoth pollinators for the Cayman Islands endemic ghost orchid, Dendrophylax fawcettii Rolfe (Orchidaceae: Angraecinae) are reviewed and Cayman records of hawkmoths as prey of the big-eared bat Macrotus waterhousii minor Gundlach (Phyllostomidae) are discussed.