GENERAL FAMILY DESCRIPTION
The Sphingidae ('Hawk Moths' or 'Sphinx Moths') are a family of about 1,000 species worldwide, reaching their greatest development in the New World tropics. They are mostly large to very large moths with characteristic 'bullet-shaped' bodies and long, thin wings which cannot easily be mistaken for anything else. The often brightly-coloured larvae of Sphingidae possess a characteristic 'sphingid horn' at one end, which gives the family its name. Due to their powerful flight, Hawk Moths disperse well and tend to have very wide ranges.
This family is a very popular one with collectors and is well documented. The world's Sphingidae are catalogued and illustrated in colour by d'Abrera (1986).The comprehensive paper by Meerman (1999) in the journal 'Tropical Lepidoptera' catalogues all 103 currently-known Belize Sphingids. I catalogue all of these here, with Jan Meerman's kind permission, although I have personally collected only 45 species to date (12 Sphinginae and 33 Macroglossinae)
SUBFAMILIES present in Belize: (click on link to go to species list for that subfamily)