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.
Diagnosis. 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
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
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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