quadricaudata Walker comb. n.
Erosia quadricaudata Walker,
1861, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 23: 847.
Erosia varisaria Walker, 1861, Ibid. 23: 848.
Epiplema subproximans Warren,
1896, Novit. zool., 3: 277.
Epiplema quadricaudata Walker;
Holloway, 1976: 87.
Diagnosis. The moth is a uniform, slightly speckled brownish grey with only faint
fasciation except for the forewing postmedial which is blackened at the costa
(an oblique dash) and at the dorsum. There is a narrow but extensive dark
marginal zone to the forewing.
Geographical range. Indo-Australian tropics from Sri Lanka to Taiwan and
Habitat preference. Most records are from lowland localities, both in
forest and in disturbed and cultivated areas, but a single specimen has been
taken as high as 1600m on G. Kinabalu. Chey (1994) found the species common in a
variety of softwood plantations in the lowlands of Sabah.
Biology. The larva was described by Bell (MS) in India. It is subcylindrical,
narrowing from the thorax to the heart-shaped head, but being slightly tumid at
about A8. It is dark reddish chocolate in colour, with the tubercles bearing the
setae black, and with white spots in front of the dorsolateral tubercles and
those above and below the spiracles. The ventrum is green, though tinged red
centrally and laterally. The pupa is stoutly claviform, the cremaster bluntly
pointed, with eight hooked shaftlets.
The eggs are laid on the underside of mature leaves, many together. The
larvae are gregarious, spinning webbing over the leaves that are skeletonised.
They fall off on silken threads when disturbed. Pupation is in a bark crevice or
on the ground in a tight cocoon of loose rusty red silk.
Recorded host-plants are all in the Rubiaceae: Adina (Bell;
Browne, 1968); Anthocephalus (FRIM, unpublished); Cinchona (Sevastopulo,
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