species: quercifolia Linnaeus.
Synonyms: Estigena Moore (type species pardale Walker); Stenophylloides
Hampson (type species sikkima Moore); Tauscheria Bryk (type species
muscovit Bryk (= africana Holland).
This is probably the most widespread lasiocampid genus, extending
throughout the Old World to Sulawesi.
The genera Sporostigena Bethune-Baker and Isostigena Bethune-Baker from
New Guinea are externally very similar to some Oriental Gastropacha taxa
but have distinctive genitalic features (see comments below under Micropacha
The genus typifies the subfamily Gastropachinae, best defined by the
unusual development of venation in the humeral area, with many humeral
veins arising in sequence from vein Sc, which itself forms a large cell
with Rs basal to the point of contact (Fig. 3). When the insect is at rest
this portion protrudes well beyond the costa of the forewing to give a
cryptic 'dead leaf ' effect; it is the most strongly patterned area of the
hindwings for this reason.
Hindwing venation of Lasiocampidae: left, most frequent South-east Asian
configuration (paralebeda); top right, gastropachine configuration (Gastropacha
leopoldi), with numerous humeral veins anterior to Sc, and a major
additional cell between Sc and Rs; bottom right, Syrastrena, with
rather basal humeral veins, otherwise similar to Paralebeda.
The Oriental members of the genus were reviewed by Tams (1935) and
Lajonquière (1976, 1977a). Both these authors defined the genus on
characteristics of genitalia. In the male the tegumen is divided into two
lobes, each bearing a large spine. The valve is associated with the
vinculum over much of its length and gives rise to a dorsal lobe and a
ventral spur, the latter usually serrate. The juxta consists of a pair of
long, acute, serrate processes anterior to the ventral process of the
valve. The aedeagus vesica bears one or more clusters of cornuti. The
eighth sternite is only weakly modified, usually in the form of slight
expansion and heavier sclerotisation (pardale).
The larva of the type species was described by Carter (1984). The head and
body are extensively covered with secondary setae. The prothorax has
raised lateral tubercles bearing a brush of forward-directed setae. All
segments have large subventral tubercles bearing downward-directed setae
forming 'lappets'. The meso- and metathorax have saddle-like dorsal plates
bearing broad, pointed scale-like setae. Pupation is in a large, elongate
silken cocoon in which larval hairs are embedded.
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