SUBFAMILY ARCTIINAE
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Creatonotos transiens Walker
   
Spilosoma transiens
Walker, 1855, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln. Br. Mus., 3: 675.
   
Amphissa vacillans Walker, 1855, Ibid. 3: 685.
   
Aloa isabellina Walker, 1855, Ibid. 3: 705.
   
Creatonotos transiens Walker; Holloway, 1976: 4; Barlow, 1982: 74.
   
Creatonotos transiens orientalis Nakamura, 1976: 116.


Creatonotos transiens

Creatonotos transiens


Diagnosis.
The grey wings (paler in the female), with three black discal dots and a whitish costa on the forewing, are distinctive. The abdomen is yellow with black maculation.

Taxonomic notes. Nakamura (1976) recognised a number of races of transiens. The typical race flies in India, ssp. sundana Nakamura in Java and ssp. orientalis Nakamura from S.E. Asia to Sumatra and Borneo. The original description places vacillans Walker as solely from Hong Kong (not also Philippines and India as cited by Nakamura), so this name (= koni Miyake syn. n.) must be applied to the race from China, Taiwan and Japan. Sulawesi material has aedeagus vesica ornamentation different from the races described by Nakamura and probably represents another race. Nakamura described Philippines material as a new species, distinguished in facies (no discal spots on the forewing), reduced sexual dimorphism, and genitalic features: t. philippinense Nakamura; this is a junior synonym of wilemani Rothschild syn. n. True transiens also occurs in the Philippines. The Walker names transiens and isabellina are based on a series of syntypes from a range of geographical localities, both including India. It would therefore be in the interests of stability to follow Nakamura and fix the name transiens on the Indian race with isabellina Walker as a synonym.

Geographical range. Japan, China, India through South East Asia to Sundaland, the Philippines and Sulawesi.

Habitat preference. The species is frequent in agricultural areas, open habitats and secondary vegetation.

Biology. The larva has been illustrated by Horsfield & Moore (1858-9; as vacillans Walker) for Java and by Sugi (1987) for the Himalaya. The skin is very dark brown, with a very pale yellow dorsal stripe (broken anteriorly and posteriorly in the Himalayan example). The setae on the verrucae are a paler, more rufous brown.

The larva has a wide range of host-plants, including (Horsfield & Moore; Pholboon, 1965; Browne, 1968; Miyata, 1983): Beta (Chenopodiaceae); Dioscorea (Dioscoreaceae); Paspalum, Zea (Gramineae); Pithecelbobium, Vigna, Wisteria (Leguminosae); Toona (Meliaceae); Musa (Musaceae); Salix (Salicaceae); Cayratia, Cissus (Vitidaceae).

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