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Spodoptera mauritia Boisduval  
Hadena mauritia
Boisduval, 1833, Nouv. Annls Mus. Hist. nat. Paris, 2: 240.
Spodoptera acronyctoides
Guenee, 1852, Spec. gen. Lep., Hist. nat. Insectes, 5:154.
Spodoptera mauritia
Boisduval; Brown & Dewhurst, 1975: 247; Holloway, 1976: 12.

Spodoptera mauritia

Spodoptera mauritia

See the next three species. All these four species are easily confused, so examination of the genitalia is recommended. The male of mauritia is more highly variegated on the forewings with a diffuse whitish arc surrounding the blackish patch basal to the reniform. In females this black arc is stronger than in other species.

Geographical range.
Indian Ocean (ssp. mauritia), Indo-Australian and Pacific; tropics (ssp. acronyctoides).

Habitat preference. The species is occasionally taken in forest but is most abundant in open, cultivated or disturbed habitats in the lowlands.

Biology. Brown & Dewhurst (1975) provided a description of the larva. It has teeth of the mandibles fused together into a single, chisel-like cutting edge, lacks black markings and has the segmental spots of the central body segments long and narrow. Sevastopulo (1939) described it as dark grey with a purplish dorsal line (white on Al) and pale subdorsals which have black lunules on each segment, so the criteria in the key of Brown & Dewhurst are not necessarily reliable for Oriental populations of the species they treat that are common to the two regions. Earlier instars are green, becoming progressively browner.

Most host-plant records are for Gramineae. It is a pest of rice, and the species can undergo armyworm outbreaks in pastures. Brown & Dewhurst also noted it to feed on Compositae, Coniferae, Cruciferae, Cyperaceae, Malvaceae, Palmae and Solanaceae.

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