Ecpatia Turner

Type species: dulcistriga Walker, South Africa.

      Tentative association of this genus with the Aediinae and identification of species referable to it but assigned to the old concept of Catephia Ochsenheimer (e.g. Poole, 1989) were suggested by Holloway (2005).

      Species of this genus resemble small Aedia, particularly in the dark-bordered white hindwings; the two white sections of the hindwing fringes are in a similar position to those of the A. leucomelas group. However, the forewings have the postmedial less strongly sinuous, and there is usually a somewhat ocellar marking associated with it at the tornus; this can be conspicuously paler, extreme in E. elliptica sp. n. The male antennae are strongly fasciculate.

      The male abdomen has the eighth segment variably of the framed corematous type, the sternite usually with lateral rods. When present, the corema is single and central. The tergite may also contain a frame-like structure, and its apodemes are usually well separated. The genitalia have striking penicular processes on the tegumen. These processes have parallels in the Chytonix Grote species discussed next; this also has forewing facies similar to that of Ecpatia, particularly in the ocellar marking at the tornus. Further taxa with similar penicular processes that were treated under the Amphipyrinae by Holloway (1989) are also referred to on p. 59.

      The tegumen in Ecpatia articulates with the vinculum well dorsal to the valves, this incorporating a small pleural sclerite. The juxta is rectangular to square and may have thickened margins. The valves have the sacculus terminating in a strong harpe that is sometimes bifid. The distal part is separated off by a distinct constriction near the distal end of the sacculus, and the cucullus bears general setae, together with more robust spines that curve from the apex around its ventral margin. The valves lack coremata. The aedeagus vesica may contain one or two cornuti and sometimes patches of finer, deciduous spicules.

      The female genitalia have a broad ostium, ventrally cleft, that is integrated to some extent with the eighth segment and may give rise to posteriorly directed spines. The ductus is moderate, evenly sclerotised. The corpus bursae is irregular, pyriform, corrugated, and may have a slight basal appendix. There is general fine scobination but no definite signum. The ovipositor lobes are variable in shape but are not distinctively modified.

      The genus appears to have many species throughout the Old World tropics, extending east to New Guinea and Australia. Borneo currently supports the greatest number of species recognised, with eight. Edwards in Nielsen et al. (1996) treated the genus as distinct, listing it after Aedia. He considered (p. 378) that the generic description by Turner implied that the type species also occurred in Australia, but, given the diversity of Oriental taxa discussed here, none of which is dulcistriga, this now seems unlikely.

      Bell (MS) described the larva of the Indian E. longinquua Walker. It is abnormally swollen at A8, tapering anteriorly, particularly over the thoracic region, to the head, which is only half as broad as A8. He did not mention any reduction in prolegs. The head is orange, dotted obscurely darker. The body surface is velvety smooth, a fuscous chocolate. A1 has canary‑yellow dorsolateral patches, one large, one small, and A8 has a lateral large white patch. Every segment has a short band of one white and three yellow transverse streaks dorsolaterally. All these pale marks are slightly bordered with black. Early instars are olive‑green. A very similar larva from Okinawa was illustrated in colour by Tominaga (2004) and appeared to have the dorsal part mauve between the yellow and white markings.

      The larvae live on the undersides of leaves and fall off readily on disturbance. Young leaves are preferred. Pupation is in a smooth, earthen ovoid cocoon on the stem of the plant, the soil being brought up from the ground‑level. The cocoon is lined inside with silk.     

      The host plant genus recorded by Bell and Tominaga was Antidesma (Euphorbiaceae), to which Robinson et al. (2001) added Bischofia in the same family and Embelia (Myrsinaceae).

      Semper (1896‑1902) illustrated the larva of a Philippines species attributed to longinquua but possibly philippinensis Wileman & West. It is blackish with all prolegs present. There is a slight hump on A8. It is marked with a spiracular yellowish band, and there are pale grey subdorsal blotches on A1 and A8.

<<Back >>Forward <<Return to Content Page

Copyright © Southdene Sdn. Bhd. All rights reserved.