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Acherontia Laspeyres

Type species: atropos Linnaeus.

Synonyms: Brachyglossa Boisduval (type species atropos); Atropos Agassiz (type species atropos), praeocc.

The tongue is short, thick, hairy: the body is stout, the legs short and stout. The thorax bears a characteristic 'death's head' skull-like pattern. The forewings are dark greyish brown with irregular fasciae and a pale discal spot. The hindwings are yellow, banded with dark brown as is the abdomen, the latter having a broken dorsal blue band. The adult squeaks, probably by expelling air from the trunk.

In the male genitalia the uncus is long, slender, entire. The harpe is apically bilobed or bifid, somewhat as in Agrius.

The horn of the larva is tuberculated, the larva itself usually yellowish green with blue and yellow oblique stripes. The tongue case in the pupa is not free. Most host plant records are from the Solanaceae.

The genus contains three species, two described below plus the African and western Palaearctic type species (D'Abrera, 1986. 12).

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