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Smerinthus ocellatus MHNT Female dos.jpg
Smerinthus ocellatus type species for the genus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sphingidae
Subfamily: Smerinthinae
Genus: Smerinthus
Latreille, 1802
  • Bebroptera Sodoffsky, 1837
  • Bellia Tutt, 1902
  • Bellinca Strand, 1943
  • Copismerinthus Grote, 1892
  • Daddia Tutt, 1902
  • Dilina Dalman, 1816
  • Eusmerinthus Grote, 1877
  • Merinthus Meigen, 1830
  • Nicholsonia Tutt, 1902
  • Niia Strand, 1943

Smerinthus is a genus of hawkmoths in the family Sphingidae. It was described by Latreille in 1802. Adults have conspicuous eye spots on the hind wings.


Nomenclatural Note[edit]

The name Smerinthus is apparently derived from the Greek feminine noun 'Merinthos', but has been latinised with the masculine -us ending and is thus, according to the ICZN article 30.1.3,[1] masculine.[2] As the ICZN rules that species names that are adjectives should agree in gender with the genus name, the common use of Smerinthus ocellata for the widespread European species Smerinthus ocellatus is incorrect.


  1. ^ International Code for Zoological nomenclature, 4th Edition, 1999, Article 30.1.3.
  2. ^ Paclt, J. 1978. The Nomenclature in an important British checklist (1972): part 4: correct gender for some other generic names. Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 17: 24-26.