FAMILY SATURNIIDAE
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  Loepa sikkima Moore
Antheraea sikkima Moore, 1865, Proc. Zool
. Soc. Lond., 1865: 818.
Loepa sikkima Moore; Allen, 1981: 113; Holloway, 1982: 192; Lampe, 1985: 9.


Loepa sikkima
(.61 natural size)


Loepa sikkima (Saturniidae); Hong Kong (M.J. Bascombe)

   


 


Diagnosis
. The broad pink zone to the subbasal fascia of the forewing is distinctive; see Loepa megacore Jordan.

Taxonomic notes. Holloway (1982) attributed material from Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Java to sikkima on genitalic grounds but stated that the rufous suffusion of typical sikkima was lacking. The course of the subbasal fascia on the forewing is directed towards the thorax posteriorly in sikkima but towards the dorsum in katinka. The name javanica Mell may be applicable to this Sundanian taxon, but the type needs to be checked. The three genitalic types recognised by Holloway are figured.

L. katinka has a rather broad vesica with two small lobes and a weak, obtuse cornutus half way to the apex; the aedeagus apex has a small process with several small spines. A Sumatran insect may be related or conspecific. Sundanian
specimens referred to sikkima here share the following genitalic features with typical Himalayan specimens: undulation of the ventral margin of the valve apex; a narrow, monolobed aedeagus vesica; a basal, heavily sclerotised, acute cornutus either on an extension of the aedeagus apex sclerotisation into the vesica (Sundaland) or as a more distal, more acute, independent spine (typical).

Geographical range. N.E. Himalaya, Sundaland.

Habitat preference. The single male seen was taken in lowland forest, Ulu Temburong, Brunei.

Biology. The Javan larva illustrated by Horsfield & Moore (1858-1859) may be referable to sikkima rather than katinka. It is pale green with numerous darker spots and, on each segment, a series of scoli: two short ones below the spiracles from T1 to A2, single ones thereafter; dorsally four long ones on each abdominal segment to A8; on the thoracic segments there are humps over the dorsal surface. The host-plants given were Cissus (Vitidaceae) and Leea (Leeaceae). The drawing is a poor one.

Nassig (in press, a) has described all instars of Sundanian sikkima. The later instars are dark reddish or black with red scoli. The lateral triangular patches are small, whitish yellow. The larva illustrated in Plate 20 is of a possible sikkima race from Hong Kong, the host-plant being Saurauia (Actinidaceae) (M.J. Bascombe, in litt.).

The larva of katinka is illustrated by Gardiner (1982: plate IV); it is dark brown, setose, and has conspicuous triangular white patches laterally on each segment. Arora & Gupta (1979) note it as feeding on Dillenia (Dilleniaceae), and Gardiner indicates a preference for Vitidaceae.

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