Trisula variegata Moore (Plate 1, Figs 6, 7)
variegata Moore, 1858, in Horsfield
& Moore, 1858‑1859, 2: 420.
Trisula variegata sumatrana Kobes, 1992: 87.
Diagnosis. The variegated, bone‑white and
brown forewing with the apex cut off by an oblique black bar is diagnostic, as
are the large dark brown discal spots of the hindwing. On the underside there
are even more conspicuous black discal spots on all the wings. Females usually
have the medial area of the forewing paler.
Taxonomic note. The species occurs in a series of races
from Sri Lanka through to Sundaland, and it is possible that T. celebensis Roepke from Sulawesi is merely another of these. The
typical race from India and Sri Lanka is relatively small, with the hindwing
very pale except for the border and discal mark. The postmedial fasciation is
dark brown, clearly defined. With progression through the Himalaya and south‑east
Asia to Sundaland and Sulawesi, the pale areas of the hindwings become suffused
with the dark colour of the borders, and the postmedials on the underside
become more obscure and diffuse. The male genitalia also vary in the shape of
the valve and of its harpe, including the distance the latter extends towards
the valve apex. The Bornean male has relatively large genitalia, but the shape
of the valve and its harpe resemble those of the male from Darjeeling
illustrated by Kobes (1992) rather than those of ssp. sumatrana or celebensis.
There is insufficient material from localities through the full range of the
species to investigate the degree of constancy in these features.
Geographical range. Indian Subregion, Thailand, Sumatra (ssp.
Habitat preference. Bornean material is restricted to a
single worn male taken in dipterocarp forest on the lower slopes (250m) of the
limestone G. Api, two females (in FRC, Sepilok) taken at 930m at Desa Pa’ Raye
in Kalimantan and at Ginseng Camp (620m) in the Maliau Basin in Sabah and a
specimen in RMNH, Leiden, taken in disturbed, logged forest at 400m, 4km west
of Mului in the Gunung Lumut Protection Forest, Pasir District, Kalimantan
Biology. The larva was illustrated by Horsfield
& Moore (1858‑1859). All prolegs are fully developed. The body is
densely hairy, with numerous long secondary setae on slight verrucae. The head
is pale bluish grey, marked with black. The thoracic segments are grey. The
abdominal segments are dark brown with a ring of deep blue verrucae on each.
Pupation is in a
cocoon camouflaged with frass.
The host plant is
Ficus (Moraceae); see also Robinson et al. (2001).
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