THE AGANAINAE (HYPSIDAE)
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Asota heliconia Linnaeus 
   
Phalaena heliconia Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat. (edn. 10) 1: 511.
   
Asota heliconia Linnaeus; Holloway, 976: 5.


Asota heliconia


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.

Taxonomic notes. There 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 Solomons.

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 sublaterally.

A recorded host-plant from Borneo is Averrhoa (star-fruit, Averrhoaceae aff. Oxalidaceae; unpublished CIE records).

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