Tarsolepis sommeri Hübner
Crino sommeri Hübner, 1821, Samml. exot. Schmett. 2
Tarsolepis remicauda Butler,
1872, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (4) 10: 125.
Tarsolepis sommeri Hübner;
Kiriakoff 1968: 19.
Tarsolepis remicauda Butler;
Nakamura 1976: 35.
Diagnosis. The only possible species with which this could be confused is its
congener rufobrunnea (see below). In sommeri the external silver
triangle of the forewing is separated from the grey marginal zone by a dark
brown crescent within its width rather than by a long, lenticular, ochreous
yellow band. The hindwings above are paler brown basally, the veins picked out
darker, the margin slightly rounded, crenulate, whereas in rufobrunnea the
wing is uniform dark brown, the margin more or less straight. The ground colour
below is fawn rather than pinkish. The female antennae are filiform rather than
weakly pectinate. The third joint of the palp is long rather than short. The
uncus of the male genitalia is bifurcate rather than entire. A tuft of red hair
scales occurs ventrally at the base of the abdomen.
Geographical range. Oriental Region.
Habitat preference. The species has been recorded from a wide range of
lowland forest types, but in the G. Mulu National Park was found more commonly
in alluvial and secondary alluvial forest.
Biology. The adult has been recorded feeding from mammalian lachrymal secretions
in Peninsular Malaysia (Bänziger 1972). Gaede (1930) referred to the larvae of
Indian members of Tarsolepis as being white above with black- spotted,
bright orange flanks; the larva is scantily haired; there are two thick black
collars behind the head, and the posterior segments are studded with club-shaped
purple hairs. This description should be treated with caution as it does not
accord with the photograph of the larva of T. japonica Wileman &
South in Issiki (1969) which shows a glabrous purple larva with a humped
posterior end with produced, tapering anal claspers all held away from the twig
at rest, as are the thoracic legs, the posterior one much longer than those
anteriorly, itself pale posteriorly, dark anteriorly, the sharp dividing line
extending obliquely backwards to above the spiracles. Gaede's description may
refer to a Dudusa species. Kalshoven (1981) referred to a ‘colourful’
caterpillar feeding on rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum, Sapindaceae). They
can defoliate the trees completely but are prone to disease. Pupation is just
under the soil surface.
illustrated the larva of sommeri as being hairless, relatively
unmodified, red except for a very broad dorsal green band over the abdominal
segments; the green band is divided centrally and flanked at the spiracles by
black lines and invested marginally with a scattering of grey dots. The taxon javana
Swinhoe is a district species (S.E. Asia, Sumatra, Java, Philippines, ?New
Guinea) and both these last larval descriptions may refer to it.
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