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Tiracola aureata sp. n. 

Tiracola aureata

26-28mm. This is a slightly larger species than plagiata, the forewings and thorax a somewhat golden fawn rather than pale greyish brown. The facies and variability are as in plagiata. The pale submarginal line of the forewing, when prominent, is distinctly yellow. The basal zone of the forewing underside may be dull reddish compared with brown in plagiata. The male genitalia provide the most reliable distinguishing features: the cucullus is triangular, the ventral angle (with spur or digitus) approximately level with the dorsal one, whereas in plagiata the dorsal angle is more rounded and strongly produced relative to the ventral one (though this is less pronounced in Pacific populations of plagiata); the juxta and lateral bands of sclerotisation on the anellus are longer, narrower than in plagiata.

These features also distinguish the Australian T. spectabilis Walker stat. rev. (= nebulifera Warren syn. n.), a much darker brown insect, darker than plagiata. T. spectabilis may therefore be the sister-species of  T. aureata.

. SARAWAK: Gunong Mulu Nat. Park, R.G.S. Exped. 1977-8 (J. D. Holloway et al) Site 1, January. Camp 4, Mulu, 1790m 452463 [upper-montane] BM noctuid slide 10517.

1 general data as holotype but Site 27, April, G. Api 1500m Pandanus Camp, 429541; 1 general data as holotype but Site 6, January, Gunong Mulu 2360m, 467465, low summit scrub; 4 SABAH: Mt Kinabalu, 'Radio Sabah' 2600m vii-xi. 1965. Cambridge Expedition to Mt Kinabalu 1965 (H.J. Banks, H.S. Barlow & J.D. Holloway).

Geographical range.
N.E. Himalaya, China (Moupin) to Sundaland, Philippines, Sulawesi, S. Maluku, New Guinea.

Habitat preference.
This species is much commoner than plagiata in Borneo, particularly in natural habitats and at high altitudes. It ranges from the lowlands to 2600m and is much commoner above 1700m.

Records of the life history of this and the previous species are probably inextricable unless voucher material was retained.

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