Contheyla chara Swinhoe, 1901, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (7) 7:
Birthamula chara Swinhoe; Hering, 1931: 704.
Diagnosis. See Birthamula Hering and the diagnosis of altichara below.
There is a degree of variability and the figures above illustrates extremes of
uniformity and variegation.
Geographical range. Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra.
Habitat preference. During the Mulu survey two specimens were taken in
alluvial forest and two in wet heath forest. Brunei records have been from areas
of coastal vegetation, swamp forest and dry heath forest.
Biology. The larva was illustrated by Wood (1968) as bright green with irregular,
faint longitudinal broken yellow lines. The development of the dorsolaterals is
as in the generic description; the thoracic and posterior pairs are black, the
latter associated with a central white disc and a pair of much smaller
brown-ringed lateral ones. The posterior subdorsals are associated with two
lateral white spots and a transverse dorsal bar of white, edged posteriorly with
brown. At one third and three fifths along the dorsum from the head are two
further white patches, almost circular, ringed with brown, the anterior one half
the area of the posterior one. Other variants are shown in illustrations in the
collection of the Malaysian Department of Agriculture. The white discs are most
conspicuous in the final instar and set on a broad dorsal, reddish brown band
which, between large black scoli on Al and A8, is flanked by irregular
dorsolateral yellow lines; the scoli are otherwise green.
The host-plant was oil palm (Elaeis: Palmae).
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