Phalaena Bombyx beatrix Stoll,
1790, Papillons Exotiques des trois parties du Monde...,
Lymantria ganaha Swinhoe, 1903, Trans. ent. Soc. London, 1903:
Diagnosis. The facies of both sexes is distinctive, the males with more triangular
forewings than in most other congeners, and both marked with a combination of
black and bluish-grey, the latter predominant on the female forewing.
Taxonomic note. This is the Sundanian member of a group of Oriental species that
includes L. chroma Collenette in Sulawesi, L. atemeles Collenette
in Peninsular Malaysia and a complex of species in the Indian Subregion. The
ground colour of the females in the mainland Asian taxa is white rather than
grey. L. marginata Walker (N.E. Himalaya) has male genitalia similar to
those of beatrix: other taxa have shorter deeper valves, and lack the
subapical spur on the narrow dorsal arm. Toxopeus (1948) noted that both white
and grey female forms occurred in Java, though with similar genitalic
morphology, the white ones being referable to beatrix (t. loc.
Java) and the grey to ganaha (t. loc. Sumatra), but could not say
conclusively if the taxa were distinct or just forms of the same species, though
settled on the former alternative. They may prove to be seasonal forms
Geographical range. Sundaland.
Habitat preference. Five out of six Bornean specimens taken in recent
surveys are from lowland localities, but one male was taken at 1465m on Bukit
Biology. The larva of the closely related L. marginata was illustrated in
Thailand by Kuroko & Lewvanich (1993). It is variegated and reticulated in
pale grey and black. The setae on the verrucae are long, generally brindled grey.
There is a pair of narrow black hair pencils directed forward from the prothorax
on each side of the head.
There is also an illustration of the larva of beatrix in Java by
Moore (in Horsfield & Moore (1859 ). It appears dull greenish with
darker secondary setae, some of which have plumose tips. There are small,
irregular, dark blotches and lines on each segment. The thorax has two
transverse black bars.
The most frequently recorded host-plant for both beatrix and marginata
is Mangifera (Anacardiaceae), but the larva has also been recorded
from Durio (Bombacaceae) and Punica (Punicaceae) (Toxopeus, 1948;
Pholboon, 1965; Kuroko & Lewvanich, 1993; unpublished IIE records).
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