Phalera acutoides sp. n.
36 mm. The facies is as illustrated. The species is in a group
with the Javan acuta Gaede and the Himalayan raya Moore (?= alaya
Nakamura) and goniophora Hampson (? = himalayana Nakamura).
Males have the hindwing darker grey than in other species and the forewing
fasciae, especially the antemedial, more broken and obscure; the reniform is
more evident as a diffuse, pale spot. The male genitalia are closest to those of
acuta but the gnathal processes are more deeply cleft, cupped rather than
just curved; the juxta is more narrowly bilobed with a more developed central
prominence; the valve has a rugose process from the costa and a more elongate,
less lobed, central flange; the dorsal subapical lobe of the valve is more
Holotype BRUNEI: 300 m, Ulu
Temburong, rainforest, 10.2.1980 (Lt. Col. M.G. Allen), BM notodontid
[BRUNEI] L.P. 298, 300 m, 21.ii.1982 (T.W.Harman); 1
BORNEO: Sabah, Tawau distr., 500-700 ft 17.x- 5.xi.1973 (C.J.H. Pruett),
BM 1974-277; 2 Bidi, SARAWAK, 1907- 1908
(C.J. Brooks); 1 (Muzium Brunei)
BRUNEI: Sg. Burong, mixed dipterocarp, 100 ft, 9 June 1981.
Geographical range. Borneo, ?Peninsular Malaysia (one worn
in BMNH from
Habitat preference. All specimens have been taken in lowland rain forest.
Biology. Kalshoven (1981) described the larva of acuta as looking like a
small piece of porcelain with a shiny back, a brown lateral stripe and a grey
head. It feeds on various Leguminosae including Erythrina and Cassia. The
species was identified as raya but could be sundana Holloway
rather than acuta, as the former is much more common and the two species
have been confused in the past.
The larva of raya has been discovered in India (Bell MS). It is long, slender, cylindrical, with all prolegs. The head is broad,
semi-elliptical, ochreous green, with moderate, black-tipped, white hairs. The
body is smooth, enamel blue-white above a 2 mm rose-maroon spiracular band,
below which is a narrower white one; the ventral surface is clear rich green
with black patches at the bases of the true legs, but the posterior abdominal
segments are more maroon-fuscous with black side-patches. The body is invested
with blister-like patches with glassy tubercles which bear white or black hairs.
In early instars the dorsolateral tubercles of thoracic sement 1 are prolonged
into hard cylindrical processes as long as the thoracic segments altogether;
they are on the anterior margin perpendicular to the surface.
The sluggish larvae live on the undersides of leaves along the midrib,
eating from the edge inwards. When young they raise their anal ends in the air
but later instars lie full-stretched. Pupation is underground in a fine earthen
cell, with little silk lining.
The Indian host-plants are all Leguminosae such as Wagatea, Derris and
to Contents page