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Spodoptera pectinicornis Hampson comb. n.
        Xanthoptera pectinicornis Hampson, 1895, Trans. ent. Soc. Lond., 1895: 302.
        Caradrina hennia Swinhoe, 1901, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (7), 7: 495, syn. n.

Spodoptera pectinicornis

The species is like a very small S. pecten, and the male antenae are similarly bipectinate but the pectinations are relatively much longer. It is best distinguished by the male genitalia (illustrated).

Taxonomic notes. This species has the features definitive of Spodoptera described in the generic account: the distal harpe of the valve interacting with a notch in the membranous zone of the ventral margin between sacculus and apex; a small ampullate process subbasally and subcostally; a weak corema at the base of the valve; an expanded eighth abdominal segment in the female; a short, band-like, scobinate signum.

Geographical range. N.E. Himalaya to Sundaland, also in New Guinea.

Habitat preference. The species is associated with sluggish waterways and other bodies of fresh water where its host-plant grows.

Biology. The egg mass is typical of Spodoptera (M.J.W. Cock, pers. comm.). The larva feeds on the water plants Pistia stratiotes (Araceae) and Eichhornia crassipes (Pontederiaceae), principally on the former (unpublished CIE records and specimen label data).

The species is used for biological control of its host-plants in Thailand and may have been introduced for this purpose to New Guinea.

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