A preliminary study of the hawkmoth diversity (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) of Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu, India

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Geetha Iyer
Ian James Kitching


Kanyakumari District is situated at the southernmost tip of peninsular India in Tamil Nadu State and is bounded by the Western Ghats and the coasts of three seas.  There are no detailed historical records of the moths of this region, which, before India’s independence, was part of Travancore State.  This paper presents a brief account of the 27 species of hawkmoths of Kanyakumari District, recorded during surveys conducted from 2011-2015, and is the first formal record of the hawkmoths of this region.  A list of the species from the collection of the Natural History Museum, UK, collected in the erstwhile Travancore State that are likely to be found in the Kanyakumari region is also included.

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Author Biography

Ian James Kitching, Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, U.K.

I.J. Kitching is a systematic phylogenetic entomologist undertaking collections-based research into the evolution, ecology, biogeography and taxonomy of hawkmoths (Sphingidae) and their relatives. He manages the Sphingidae Taxonomic Inventory (http://sphingidae.myspecies.info/) and is currently Head of Insects Division at the Natural History Museum, London, UK.


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