Phalaena heliconia Linnaeus,
1758, Syst. Nat. (edn. 10) 1: 511.
Asota heliconia Linnaeus; Holloway, 976: 5.
Diagnosis. This and the next two species are similar in having male antennae
without pectinations, forewings with a central white wedge in dark grey, and
dark grey bordered white hindwings. In heliconia the forewing white wedge
is much narrower than in the next two species, and the hindwing border is
broader. The aedeagus vesica has two cornuti at the apex of one lobe; these are
absent in the next two species.
are numerous synonyms and named races of heliconia. Bornean material is
referable to ssp. dicta Butler.
Geographical range. Indo-Australian tropics east to Queensland and the
Habitat preference. The species is abundant in the lowlands, particularly
in disturbed habitats such as areas of secondary forest. It has been recorded in
small numbers from altitudes up to 1900m.
Biology. The larva is illustrated by Sugi (1987). It is black with a red head and
prothorax, and a pair of broken, dorsal, pale yellow bands that enclose a narrow
black band; each segmental section of the pale yellow band has a dark spot
within it anteriorly. There are further pale yellow markings along the flanks
A recorded host-plant from Borneo is Averrhoa (star-fruit,
Averrhoaceae aff. Oxalidaceae; unpublished CIE records).
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