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Phocoderma velutina Kollar  
Gastropacha velutina Kollar, in Hugel, 1844, Kaschmir und Reich der Siek 4: 473.
Natada rugosa Walker, 1855, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln. Br. Mus. 5:1109.
Phocoderma velutina Kollar; Hering, 1931: 720; Barlow, 1982: 40.

Phocoderma velutina


This species is the largest Bornean limacodid with a distinctively patterned purplish brown-black forewing.

Geographical range. Indian subregion to Sundaland.

Habitat preference. The species has only been taken in lowland rain forest.

Biology. Bell (MS) described the larva. It is limaciform with the dorsolaterals on segments T3, Al, A7 and A8 approximately 20mm long at maturity. The rest of the dorsolaterals are shorter than the laterals which are 7mm long. The colour is green, including the processes; the laterals and the A8 dorsolateral have black tips. The processes are at the intersections of a network of transverse and longitudinal bands of ground colour which encloses horizontal ellipses dorsally and oblique ellipses laterally on each segment. These are pale greyish green in preserved specimens in the BMNH but Bell gives the colour as indigo for the dorsal row and a ‘soiled' colour for the laterals; the cross bands dorsally are vermilion on segments A2-6 and yellow green on T2-A1 and A7 and A8 rather than the ground colour.

The larvae are gregarious when young, living on the underside of leaves eating the epidermis. They separate on the host-plant when larger but often defoliate whole trees. The spines are highly irritant, stinging.

Pupation is on the surface of the soil in a solid, grey, rough ovoid cocoon.

Host-plants recorded by Bell were Lannea (Odina), Mangifera (Anacardiaceae), Sapium (Euphorbiaceae) and Terminalia (Combretaceae). Browne (1968) suggested the species is polyphagous and added Bombax (Bombacaceae) to the above list.

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