Stictoptera cucullioides Guenée,
1852, Hist. nat. Insectes, Spec. gen. Lepid. 7: 52.
Steiria subobliqua Walker,
1857, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus. 13: 1136.
Steiria variabilis Moore,
1882, Descr. new Indian Lepid. Colln Atkinson, p. 164, syn. n.
Stictoptera timesia Swinhoe,
1893, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6), 12: 218, syn. n.
Stictoptera cucullioides Guenée;
Holloway, 1976: 18.
Diagnosis. Distinction from signifera is discussed above. The range of forms
is similar; in addition there is a form with an even grey () or cream () band
that extends for the whole length and almost the complete width of the forewing
(no. 1 & 2), and one with dorsal, tornal and apical pale brown or cream
zones (no. 3) which extend to coalesce in extreme cases.
Geographical range. Indo-Australian tropics to the Bismarcks and
Queensland; introduced to Hawaii.
Habitat preference. The species is much rarer than signifera in
Borneo. It was taken infrequently from 1000 to 2100m on G. Kinabalu, commonest
at 1900m. During the Mulu survey a singleton was taken in upper montane forest
on G. Mulu and two specimens in each of the alluvial forest and low altitude
Biology. Bell (MS) described the larva. It is fat, slightly tumid at the
posterior end and with a berry-shaped swelling over the anterior part of the
abdomen and thoracic segments; the head is half the breadth of the body. The
skin of the body is smooth, translucent, but the more or less round head is
brown to red-brown. The body is light whitish green with white dorsolateral and
supraspiracular lines between which there is light sinuous brown shading; such
shading occurs all over the meso and metathoracic segments. A dark vinous brown
dorsal line of variable width runs over the abdominal segments, flanked by
yellow lines; there is bright, light orange between the yellow line and the
dorsolateral line on the 8th abdominal segment. The first thoracic segment is
mostly light orange.
Another batch of larvae on the same host (Mesua) were darker,
especially the dorsal line which was blackish flanked by broadish dull white
lines. A third batch (on Calophyllum) were more purplish in the dark
areas but generally similarly marked. The length at maturity is approximately
30mm and the breadth 5mm.
The larvae tend to be found when their host-plant is in flush,
especially when the leaves are yellow-white to pinkish. The larvae rest fully
stretched on the undersides of the tender new leaves. They move actively from
place to place, eating a little here and there. They turn pinkish before
pupating, going down to the earth to make a fairly close-fitting dense cocoon of
silk incorporating particles of earth and leaf litter near the surface. The pupa
is attached lightly by the cremaster inside.
The species has also been reared from Garcinia (Sevastopulo,
1941; Mathur et al., 1954 - 1960; Beardsley, 1982; CIE records).
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