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Taxonomic studies on external genitalic attributes of two species of genus Rhagastis Rothschild and Jordan (Lepidoptera: Hawkmoths)

Author Affiliations

  • 1Punjabi University Patiala, Punjab-147001, India

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 8, Issue (11), Pages 9-14, November,10 (2019)

Abstract

Hawkmoths, (family Sphingidae) also known as \'Sphinx\' or \'Humming bird\' and are economically important. There are 183 species of Sphingidae compiled in volume V of ‵Fauna of British India, Moths′ and approximately 1000 species found all over the world. During the present studies, Rhagastis hayesi Diehl and Rhagastis aurifera (Butler) have been treated by taking various taxonomic characters, particularly the external genitalia to facilitate their authentic identification, diagnosis and differentiation as genital morphology shows peculiar patterns of variation among insects and both these species are first time reported from North-West India. Traditionally, external genitalic features of insects are considered as highly species specific in general and of high relevance in order Lepidoptera in particular. However, genitalic characters have been ignored by eminent workers. The adult representatives of hawkmoths namely hayesi Diehl and aurifera (Butler) of genus Rhagastis Rothschild & Jordan were collected with help of light trap fitted at different places in North-West India and after proper stretching were finally preserved in air tight wooden boxes containing naphthalene balls. In this research paper, the detailed study of morphological as well as external genitalic features of both the species have been study to update their taxonomic status in family Sphingidae.

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