Walker, 1862, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 26: 1648.
Snellen, 1886, Tijdschr. Ent., 29: 49.
Diagnosis. This and the next species are of similar size but can be distinguished
by the generally darker appearance of contessellata, and the greater
breadth of its forewing medial. The forewing postmedial in subtessellata is
curved unevenly, concave basad, but more straight in contessellata except
where angled basad at the costa and distad at the dorsum. In subtessellata there
is a distinctive dark shading between medial and postmedial at the hindwing
costa. The underside in contessellata is much more strongly and broadly
fasciated. In the male genitalia the ventral portion in contessellata is
small, rounded (rather than prominent, quadrate) and appears more contiguous
with the dorsal arm.
Taxonomic notes. Sundanian specimens tend to be more densely speckled with red compared
with Indian ones, so they appear somewhat darker. The hindwing of the
submarginal at the forewing dorsum and at the position of M2 on the hindwing is
less, and the veins between the postmedial and submarginal are not so strongly
delineated with red. In the male genitalia, Bornean and Sumatran specimens have
the distal part of the ventral portion of the valve narrower and more curved out
at right angles. A syntype of quadrilineata (colour photograph examined)
resembles typical Indian material more closely.
Geographical range. India, Nepal, Burma, Sundaland.
Habitat preference. The four Bornean specimens are all from lowland
dipterocarp forest on various substrates, but not heath forest.
Biology. The larva has been described by Singh (1953) and Bell (MS). It is
fusiform in shape, appearing flattened because of lateral flanges running the
length of the body. Transverse folds across the abdominal segments give each
segment a bluntly saw-like appearance in lateral view. The colour is pale green
with thickish white subdorsal lines; the edge of the flange on each side is
broadly whitish yellow and this colour continues over T1. The posterior margins
of T3 to A7 are broadly transversely white above yellow below. The apex of the
anal shield is pink.
The larva, when at rest, lies stretched full length along the midrib of
leaflets of a compound leaf of the host-plant. Pupation is in a loose cell of
silk incorporating leaflets and detritus. The moth sits with the wings
semi-erect rather than flattened against the substrate.
The host-plants recorded have been species of Acacia.
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