Type species: phalaris Cramer.
Synonyms: Metagastes Boisduval (type species phalaris Cramer);
Walker (type species decalion Walker).
The genus is most easily recognised by the fasciae of the forewings,
variably brown with irregular transverse fasciae, but always with a deep,
somewhat lenticular, sharply defined pale zone over the centre of the
costa. The thorax and abdomen are unmarked or only weakly so.
In the male genitalia the valve has a dorso-basal setose or spined
process. The harpe is large, with a distal process that varies from
species to species, two of which also have a more basal process. The
aedeagus is unadorned. The uncus is apically expanded, often broad and
The larva has white side stripes typical of the Sphinginae. All recorded
hostplants, known for several of the species, are from the family
Leguminosae (e.g. in Bell & Scott (1937)).
Bell & Scott illustrate a form of the larva of C. phalaris Cramer as
bright green with the stripes dull orange, associated with brown triangles
above the spiracles and a broken brown band below; the anal horn is very
short. Their illustrations of the larvae of C. titan Rothschild &
Jordan and C. undulosa Moore show more typically pale-banded green larvae,
though again with very short anal horns.
The genus contains eight mainly Oriental species (D'Abrera, 1986: 62).
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