Noctua caricae Fabricius, 1775, Syst. Ent. : 596.
Phalaena alciphron Cramer,
1777, Uitl. Kapellen 2: 58.
Asota caricae Fabricius; Holloway, 1976: 5; Barlow, 1982:
Diagnosis. This and the next species have similar buff forewings and black-spotted
yellow hindwings. In the next species the forewings are darker buff, apically
produced in the male, with a more irregular white discal spot, the anal vein
picked out with white and white edging to the costa and tornal margin. The black
spots at the hindwing margin are much larger, almost confluent.
Geographical range. Indo-Australian tropics to Queensland and Vanuatu.
Habitat preference. This species has only been taken in the lowlands,
both in forest and agricultural areas.
Biology. The larva in Java was illustrated by Horsfield & Moore (1858-9) as
blackish with a pale red venter and prothorax. Dorsally there is a narrow
central black stripe flanked by broad yellow ones in which on each segment and
each stripe there are two black spots arranged longitudinally. Pupation is in a
slight cocoon, fixed to a leaf. The host-plant was Ficus (Moraceae).
Bell described the southern Indian larva. The dorsal bands are white and
there is an undulant subspiracular white band. The eggs are laid in batches and
the larvae are gregarious when young. Pupation is in the soil just below the
surface in a weak cocoon. The host was also a species of Ficus.
Additional hosts are Broussonetia (Moraceae), Mesua (Guttiferae),
Tectona (Verbenaceae) (Mathur et al, 1958) and Shorea (Dipterocarpaceae)
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