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Parasa sundalepida sp. n

Parasa sundalepida
(holotype, Sumatra)

Parasa sundalepida(paratype, Sumatra)

15-17mm,   19-23mm. The forewing facies is as illustrated and is typical of the lepida Cramer group. The hindwing is somewhat yellower than in lepida (Indian subregion), the brown margin paler except at the tornus. The distal margin of the forewing green band is distinctly sinuous, with a central concave portion; it meets the dorsum at an angle rather than somewhat asymptotically as in other species with similarly uneven hindwing margins (two undescribed, from S.E. Asia and the Philippines).

The male genitalia are as illustrated and do not differ significantly from those of lepida except possibly being somewhat larger with more slender valves, a comparison that is stronger against the Javan P. lepida media Walker. The valves are also broader, shorter in the S.E. Asian species mentioned but similar to those of sundalepida in the Philippines species. In the female the double signum is as illustrated, much longer and more entire than in lepida or media; it is similar to that of the S.E. Asian species, where it extends further distally to the broadest part in a series of small patches, and to that of the Philippines species where the broadest part is not so crisply defined. The complex will be discussed in greater detail in Cock, Godfray & Holloway (in press); the larvae probably have the most reliable diagnostic features.

Holotype  Lebong Tandai, W. SUMATRA, 22-28.iv.1923 (C.J. Brooks), BM limacodid slide 268.

Paratypes. l (slide 267) 1 as holotype but different wording and dates.

Geographical range. Sumatra, Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia.

Habitat preference. Specimens have been taken widely in Borneo, mainly in the lowlands but there are singletons without altitude data from G. Marapok and G. Dulit in Sabah. Three specimens are from Daerah Belait, in Brunei, an area where swamp forest is extensive.

Biology. The larvae of the lepida complex will be described in the more extensive analysis mentioned above. The majority are green with a dorsal blue stripe and lateral blue or blue-green ones between the rows of tubercles. Descriptions of P. lepida media may be found in Piepers & Snellen (1900) and Kalshoven (1981), the latter illustrating the changes in the relative lengths of the dorsolateral tubercles through the instars (proportioned as indicated in the generic account). Bell (MS) described the larva of lepida. Corbett (1932) referred to larvae with typical colouration, possibly lepida, and blue larvae, possibly this species or a rare new species on Nipa palm, from Peninsular Malaysia. Dr M.J.W. Cock (unpublished CIBC report) has illustrated the larva of the Philippines species as almost entirely white, with groups of bluish spots down the line of the dorsal stripe. The larvae are extensively polyphagous, being recorded from a wide range of plant families; they are pests of a range of crops, especially coconut. P. sundalepida has been reared from Aleurites (Euphorbiaceae), Cocos and Coffea (Rubiaceae) in Peninsular Malaysia and from Acacia (Leguminosae) in Brunei.

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