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Calesia Guenée

Type species: comosa Guenée = dasypterus Kollar, India.

Asymbata Gerstaecker (type species roseiventris Gerstaecker = zambesita Walker, Africa); Carandana Moore (type species fasciculosa Walker, Sri Lanka); Lecasia Fawcett (type species othello Fawcett, Africa); Mecyra Walker (type species invaria Walker, Java); Pasipeda Walker (type species rufipalpis Walker, Sri Lanka); Zirona Walker (type species marginata Walker, Africa).

The description following is based mostly on the Oriental species in the genus; African species were not studied. Most species are uniform or slightly fasciated dull brown with, in the female, a white spot in the discal area and, in males of many species, a conspicuous semicircular tuft of scales based on the centre of the costa that obscures the discal area which also may be extensively invested with flocculent raised scales. Most African species and C. stillifera Felder & Rogenhofer (Philippines, Indian Subregion) have a more extensive array of white spots in the cell and submarginally on the forewing and no scale tuft in the males. The abdomen may be dull yellow-brown or orange-brown. The male antennae are ciliate. The labial palps are of the typical catocaline type.

In the male abdomen, the eighth segment is strongly modified. The tergite is broad, with robust apodemes and is distally divided into two paddle-like lobes. The sternite is narrower, with apodemes closer together, interacting with the bilobed posterior margin of the seventh sternite. The distal part is also divided into two but each side is more complex, flanged, and semi-detached from the central part with apodemes. The uncus is long and slender. The valves are tongue-like, with a slender, digitate process directed dorsally from the sacculus and sometimes projections from the ventral margin. The juxta is of the inverted ‘V’ type. The aedeagus vesica is convolute with digitate diverticula but usually no conspicuous scobination or other ornamentation, except some local sclerotisation.

In the female (
gastropachoides Guenée; Fig 161), the ostium is associated with the eighth segment and can be cleft ventrally. The ductus is generally sclerotised, but there is a short, membranous constriction at the point where it joins the bursa, which is elongate and irregularly ovate. The ornamentation of the bursa is distinctive: an oblique subbasal sclerotised channel or band that is associated with the ductus seminalis; a scattering of slender, somewhat hooked spines distal to this; a scobinate or delicately spined signum opposite the spines and again slightly more distal.

The larvae of various Indian Subregion species have been described by Moore (1884-1887), Gardner (1941, 1946) and Bell (MS); Moore illustrated one species. The head and body are dull black, marked and ringed with yellow bands at the junctions of segments as in the next genus, but lacking the modified setae. Prolegs on A3 and A4 are absent. There can be red marks on the head and elsewhere. 

The larvae feed in a highly looped posture on the undersides of young leaves, but usually rest on dead leaves or twigs, the front half held erect to give a sigmoid curvature to the body. On disturbance, they will fall to the ground, curl up and sham death. Older larvae live more near the base of the host plant. Pupation is in a silken cell in litter on the ground.

The pupae are glossy and pilose with a dense array of short golden-brown hairs.

The host plants recorded for a number of species (Robinson
et al., 2001) are all from the Acanthaceae: Asystasia, Barleria, Eranthemum, Justicia, Lepidagathis, Strobilanthes, Thunbergia.

The genus is diverse in the African and Oriental tropics, with singlespecies in the Moluccas and New Guinea (Poole, 1989).

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