Hawkmoths of the World

An annotated and illustrated revisionary checklist

Ian J. Kitching and Jean-Marie Cadiou

Covering more than 3,800 family/genus and species-group taxa of hawkmoths, this book provides a much-needed foundation for research into these insects' systematics and biology.

978 0 8014 3734 2
May 2000
242 x 178 mm
256 pp
64 colour photographs
Cornell University Press in association with the Natural History Museum


In this book, two international authorities on hawkmoths have prepared a comprehensive checklist with species descriptions. All those concerned with the conservation of Lepidoptera will welcome the addition of this landmark reference work to their libraries.

Hawkmoths of the World opens with an overview of hawkmoth morphology and biology, including discussion of the moths' immature stages, their roles as pollinators and as pests, and their importance in conservation issues. The authors then propose a new system for higher classifications of hawkmoths, one based on the results of the most recent phylogenetic research.

The checklist contains 

  • All the nominal taxa of the Sphingidae
  • The names of aberrations and individual forms
  • The author of each taxon description and its original date of publication
  • Descriptions of two new species and two new subspecies
  • A series of notes clearly explaining taxonomic changes, lectotype designations and related matters
  • Colour plates with 64 photographs 

Hawkmoths of the World is available to order from our co-publisher Cornell University Press. For details of how to contact them, please visit Publishing partners.


Ian J. Kitching is a Research Entomologist at the Natural History Museum, London. He is co-author of several books, most recently Cladistics: The Theory and Practice of Parsimony Analysis (Second Edition).

Dr Jean-Marie Cadiou was a non-professional butterfly and moth expert and was passionate about hawkmoths. He started collecting them in the 1960s, until his unexpected and untimely death in 2007. 

The Cadiou collection is the second largest collection of hawkmoths in private hands and the most important to become available for many years. It was bought by the Natural History Museum in 2008. The addition of the 53,000 pinned and 176,000 papered specimens will mean that the Museum now has 92% of the world’s hawkmoths in its collections.

About hawkmoths

Hawkmoths are truly spectacular to observe. They are among some of the largest members of the order Lepidoptera. As caterpillars, they have sleek muscular bodies with sidestripes and a tail 'horn'; some evoke alarm for their resemblance to poisonous snakes. 

As adult moths, they use their long tongues to drink nectar from flowers while hovering. Found worldwide, many travel prodigious distances: hummingbird hawkmoths regularly fly to Britain from the Mediterranean.

Buy insect and arachnid books online

Arachnids book

Visit the online shop to find all our authoritative guides on this fascinating animal group.

You can also buy other books, DVDs and lots of gifts inspired by the natural world.

Go shopping

Share this