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The Gymnoscelis imparatalis Walker complex

As stated in the introduction, there is a complex of species clustered around G. imparatalis with rather distinct female genitalia: the globular bursa contains a subbasal short zone of sclerotisation with spines, then a more distal ribbon of sclerotisation with short lateral blades that runs around the vertex of the bursa and is, in some species, interrupted distally into two separate longitudinal sections.

The nomenclature attached to this complex is abundant, and the characteristics distinguishing the various taxa are subtle: degree of development of the two cornuti of the aedeagus vesica; shape, sclerotisation and scobination of the ductus bursae; development of the basal sclerotisation and distal ribbons in the bursa.

A fairly distinctive member of the group is G. tristrigosa Butler (probably = ischnophylla Turner, with sspp. tongaica Prout and nasuta Prout) that ranges from Sri Lanka and Taiwan to Fiji, Tonga and New Caledonia (Holloway, 1979). It is pale in ground colour with clearly marked dark fasciae. The aedeagus vesica cornuti are smaller than those of other taxa. The ductus bursae is relatively long, narrow, as is the distal ribbon in the bursa: the latter is also unbroken. The species has not been recorded from Borneo but may well occur there, considering its general range.

There is a group of taxa that may all be conspecific in the Australasian tropics (Seram, New Guinea, Queensland). They are characterised by relatively large cornuti in the aedeagus vesica, itself broad, a relatively long ductus bursae and a complete, narrow distal ribbon in the bursa. Names involved are aenictopa Turner, coquina Warren and grisea Warren. One of the Bornean species appears closely related (see below).

The larvae of species in the complex were described by Bell (MS). Those of imparatalis tend to be whitish or yellowish with delicate pink markings, particularly laterally but extending dorsally, with brown marks at the posterior of each segment. That of tristrigosa is greenish yellow with large chocolate-brown patches dorsally on each segment, and also laterally.

The larvae feed on young foliage and flower often webbing them, and have been recorded from the following hosts (Pholboon, 1965; Robinson, 1975; Yunus & Ho, 1980; Inoue et al., 1982; Bell, MS; unpublished IIE records): Heptapleurum (Araliaceae: tristrigosa (Bell)); Mangifera (Anacardiaceae); Tabernaemontana (Apocynaceae); Hodgsonia (Cucurbitaceae); Cinnamomum (Lauraceae); Cassia (Leguminosae); Fagraea (Loganiaceae); Memecylon (Melastomataceae); Pittosporum (Pittosporaceae tristrigosa); Citrus (Rutaceae); Nephelium (Sapindaceae). These records are probably mostly for imparatalis, except where indicated.

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