The Hawkmoths of the Western Palaearctic

A. R. Pittaway

A detailed study of the sphingid species found in the Western Palaearctic – an area bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Sahara Desert to the south, the Arctic to the north, and Siberia to the east – with emphasis on their biology, ecology and breeding.

978 0 946 58921 0
January 1993
290 x 210 mm
240 pp
Harley Books in association with the Natural History Museum


The introduction includes an historical account of the study of the sphingidae, listing major British and foreign works on the family. The following chapters explore life history, adult morphology, ecology of Western Palaearctic sphingidae, and classification. 

A systematic section includes a check list, followed by detailed descriptions of 57 species and 28 subspecies, with full synonymy, distribution maps, text figures of adults, genitalia, larvae and pupae, and vernacular names in several European languages. 

There are four appendixes (Rearing Hawkmoths, Hostplants, Gazetteer and Glossary) and comprehensive references. The book concludes with separate indexes of insects, plants and topics.

The colour plates depict:

  • 110 figures of adults of all the species and many subspecies photographed from set specimens
  • larvae of 40 species 
  • five subspecies or forms on their hostplants
  • two photographic plates of Habitats and five of larvae and adults in the wild. 

The Hawkmoths of the Western Palaearctic is available to order from our co-publisher Brill. For details of how to contact them, please visit Publishing partners.


Tony Pittaway is a professional entomologist who has made a life-study of the hawkmoths of the Western Palaearctic, travelling widely throughout the region and beyond, and successfully breeding most species himself.

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