Amerila astreus Drury
1773, Illust. nat. Hist. exot. Insects 2: 49, p1. 28.
1780, Uitl. Kapellen 3: 286.
astreus curtisi Rothschild,
1910, Novit. zool. 17: 185.
Holloway, 1976: 5; Barlow, 1982: 75.
Diagnosis. This and the next species are externally very similar but for the dorsal
part of the abdomen. This is entirely pink in astreus but only apically
so in omissa. In omissa the aedeagus vesica is relatively much
longer basal to the lobe bearing the cornuti; and the basal part of the juxta is
more complex, partly divided into two.
Taxonomic note. The Sundanian race is curtisi Rothschild; an account of the
subspecies by that author can be found in Seitz Gross-Schmett. Erde 10:
Geographical range. Indian Subregion to S. China, Sundaland and the
Philippines, Moluccas and New Guinea.
Habitat preference. The species was recorded from the lowlands to 2000m
on G. Kinabalu, and a similar altitude range was noted during the survey of the
G. Mulu National Park.
Biology. The life history has been described by Bell (MS). The egg is shiny
white, a very pale yellow, microscopically pitted and highly domed. They are
The young larva is green, living on the underside of leaves. Later
instars are green with orange heads, black verrucae and hairs. The final, sixth
instar has a cylindrical to slightly fusiform body. The head is light yellow,
tinged greenish, with white setae. The body surface is smooth, dull, the
segments well marked, light grass-green in colour, with black verrucae giving
rise to conical tufts of white setal hairs, the dorsolateral tufts of T2, T3 and
the posterior abdominal segments being twice the length of the rest. The larvae
become pink before pupation which is in a cocoon incorporating earth particles
on the ground.
Bell gave as host plants Dioscorea (Dioscoreaceae), Smilax (Smilacaceae),
Ixora (Rubiaceae), and Marsdenia (Asclepiadaceae). The species has
also been recorded from Beaumontia (Apocynaceae) by Sevastopulo (1940).
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