Deilephila rivularis (Boisduval, [1875]) - Obscure Elephant Hawkmoth

Taxonomic Information

List of Deilephila Laspeyres, 1809 known from India.
Deilephila elpenor (Linnaeus, 1758), Karnataka (Channi et al., 2017), North West India (Rafi et al., 2014).
Deilephila rivularis (Boisdual, (1875), Himachal Pradesh (Sidhu and Nair, 2017).

Photo Gallery and Species Biology

Very similiar to Deilephila elpenor macromera found in the eastern Himalaya (Nepal and eastwards)

"but more muted in colour, the khaki areas being dull olive-green and the pink areas less bright and more buff." Kitching, I. Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory.

"pink on the underside far more evenly disposed over the disk of both wings than in the eastern form macromera." Hampson, 1892.

"Like P. e. macromera, but the rosy-red parts of body and wings shaded over with cinnamon, being far less bright than in macromera, especially on the wings." Bell & Scott, 1937. 

Deilephila elpenor seems to lack white spots on the abdominal segments, which are quite prominent in many individuals of D. rivularis (less prominent in some individuals). The use of this feature for separation of these two species needs verification by examining a wide range of museum specimens (pers. comm. Ian Kitching). 

StateJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecNo date
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andhra Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh
Assam
Bihar
Chandigarh
Chhattisgarh
Dadra & Nagar Haveli
Daman & Diu
Delhi
Goa
Gujarat
Haryana
Himachal Pradesh2
Jammu and Kashmir1
Jharkhand
Karnataka
Kerala
Lakshadweep
Madhya Pradesh
Maharashtra
Manipur
Meghalaya
Mizoram
Nagaland
Odisha
Paschimbanga
Pondicherry
Punjab
Rajasthan
Sikkim
Tamil Nadu
Tripura
Uttar Pradesh
Uttarakhand6
West Bengal
Total621
  1. Bell, T.R.D & F. B. Scott. 1937. The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Moths, Vol. 5. Taylor & Francis, London. Sphingidae, pg. 410 149a as Pergesa elpenor rivularis
  2. Hampson, G. 1892. The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Moths, Vol. 1. Taylor & Francis, London. Pp. xxiii + 527. Saturniidae to Hypsidae, # 119, pg. 84 as Chaerocampa elpenor
  3. Khramov, P. Butterflies and Moths (Lepidoptera). http://insecta.pro/taxonomy/66851 [accessed 9 June 2016]
  4. Kitching, I. Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory. http://sphingidae.myspecies.info/taxonomy/term/869 [accessed 9 June 2016]
  5. Pittaway, A.R. & I.J. Kitching. Sphingidae of the Eastern Palaearctic (including Siberia, the Russian Far East, Mongolia, China, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula and Japan.). http://tpittaway.tripod.com/sphinx/d_riv.htm [accessed 9 June 2016]

Notes on species: Individuals from Munsiari and Jhala in Uttarakhand were incorrectly identified as D. elpenor but are actually D. rivularis.(pers. comm. Ian Kitching). This was rectified on 7 July 2021. There are no confirmed records of D. elpenor from W. Himalayas (Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand). 

Page citation

Anonymous 2024. Deilephila rivularis (Boisduval, [1875]) – Obscure Elephant Hawkmoth. In Sondhi, S., Y. Sondhi, R.P. Singh, P. Roy and K. Kunte (Chief Editors). Butterflies of India, v. 3.73. Published by the Indian Foundation for Butterflies. URL: https://www.mothsofindia.org/deilephila-rivularis, accessed 2024/04/21.