SUBFAMILY HADENINAE
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Sesamia inferens Walker
Leucania inferens Walker, 1856, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 9:105.
Leucania proscripta Walker, 1856, Ibid., 9:106.
Sesamia tranquilaris Butler, 1880, Proc. zool. Soc. Lond., 1880: 674.
Nonagria gracilis Butler, 1880, Ibid., 1880: 675.
Sesamia albiciliata Snellen,. 1880, Tijdschr. Ent., 23: 44.
Nonagria innocens Butler, 1881, Trans. ent. Soc. Lond, 1881: 173.


Sesamia inferens


 


Diagnosis.
This species superficially resembles Mythimna species but has smooth, rather than hairy, eyes. The forewing is much less striate than in Mythimna, with a diffusely darker central streak, and darker brown at the margin, grading away basad. The hindwings are almost pure creamy white.

Taxonomic notes.
The costal process of the valve in the male genitalia is diagnostically curved and serrate, the harpe relatively weak, apically squared. The species is therefore not closely related to the diverse African complex that includes the generic type-species where the costal process is not serrate but apically bifid, and the harpe is massive, spinose. There are two larger, darker species with very similar male genitalia to inferens in tropical Australasia: grisescens Warren (New Guinea, Seram); arfaki Bethune-Baker (New Guinea). The species is also quite distinct from S. uniformis Dudgeon (India, China), a species with darker forewings and a costal flange rather than a long spine in the male genitalia. S. uniformis also has very different cremaster spining in the pupa: there is a slender apical pair and subapical lateral pairs (six spines in all) as compared with the apically quadrifid cremaster in inferens (Wu, 1981).

Geographical range.
Indo-Australian tropics to Solomons.

Habitat preference.
The species is found from the lowlands to about 1700m, but is commoner in the former, particularly in disturbed and open habitats. During the Mulu survey it was taken particularly commonly in alluvial forest where there were clearings or the forest was in an early state of regeneration.

Biology.
The larva was described by Williams (1953). It has many features general to its genus: pinkish coloration apart from the light brown prothoracic shield; uniordinal crochets; elongate, oval spiracles with black peritremes. Features of chaetotaxy are also given and characters distinguishing the larva from the generic type-species.

Host-records (e.g. Miyata, 1983) are almost entirely from Gramineae (Coix, Echinochloa, Oryza, Panicum, Saccharum, Setaria, Triticum, Zea, Zizania), including many of economic importance. There is one record from Diospyros (Ebenaceae) (Miyata, 1983).

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