FAMILY SPHINGIDAE
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Ambulyx Westwood

Type species: substrigilis Westwood.
Synonym: Oxyambulyx Rothschild & Jordan (type species substrigilis Westwood).

There has been some confusion of the identity of this genus in the past, and the species below have invariably been referred to Oxyambulyx. Fletcher & Nye (1982) have clarified the situation and listed instances of the erroneous use of Ambulyx by other authors; Rothschild & Jordan considered Westwood's name to be a nomen nudum.

The genus is best defined by characteristics of the wings and of the male genitalia. The forewing is apically acute, in shades of grey, buff or yellowish buff, the veins often picked out darker, crossed by fine irregular dark fasciae except for an evenly curved and much stronger submarginal that encloses a lenticular zone at the margin. The hindwings are usually yellow with irregular black fasciation. A number of species have subbasal dark brown or green spots on the forewing, with one subdorsally being the most frequent, and also a subtornal one, but these are not universal and can be diagnostic for species. The thorax has broad dark green bands laterally. The abdomen in most species has a thin dark line dorsally.

The male genitalia have the uncus undivided, apically bulbous, and the gnathus often apically bifid. The harpe is usually well developed, with two well splayed, slender spines, or a spine and a dentate ridge. The aedeagus apex usually bears three slender processes running into the vesica, two serrate and one smooth.

The larva is typically sphingine, green, with pale oblique stripes and a strong anal horn.

There is some frequency of members of the Anacardiaceae amongst the host-plant records for the genus.

Ambulyx is most diverse in the Oriental Region from India to Sundaland but extends as far east as the Solomons (D'Abrera, 1986: 55).

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