Aplotelia Warren Gen. rev.
Type species: tripartita Semper.
This genus is brought out from synonymy with Eutelia. It contains
four species, partially overlapping, in a range that extends from India to the
Solomon Is. (Fig. 6).
Figure 6. Distribution of species of Aplotelia. 1. A.diplographa,
2. A.nubilosa, 3a. A.tripartita tripartita, 3b. A.microsundana,
3c. A t.pratti, 4. A.oetakwa.
The forewing facies of all the taxa has a generally ashy grey ground
colour with double, fine dark antemedial and postmedial fasciae, the former
straight, transverse, the latter sinuous, looping round the reniform; a diffuse
dark medial runs parallel to the postmedial between it and the reniform. Distal
to the postmedial is an irregular, broken, dark grey submarginal row of patches,
edged with a paler grey than the ground.
In the male the eighth abdominal segment has reduced sclerotisation,
that of the sternite being completely lacking but with two small sternal
coremata (Fig. 22). In the genitalia the gnathus is prominent, heavily
sclerotised, usually larger than the uncus. The valves are complex, diverse
features being shared between one or more species but with no overall common
plan, e.g. a spined juxta in nubilosa Warren and diplographa Hampson
and not the other two species which share a prominent lobe to the transtilla to
the exclusion of the other two. The aedeagus and its vesica are as diverse as
the valves in structure.
In the female genitalia the valve complexity is reflected in the
sclerotisation of the lamellae vaginalis, most extreme in nubilosa. The
bursa is evenly scobinate, but with a short fold that is more heavily scobinate
in diplographa. Small apophyses are present on segment 8 in diplographa
but are not apparent in the other species.
The two most westerly species occur in Borneo and are described below,
but the other two are reviewed in this section with brief descriptions of new
Aplotelia tripartita Semper was described from the Philippines. It differs
from diplographa and the next species in the more uniform grey of the
forewing, the straight line of the paler grey associated with the submarginal,
and a darker triangular area on the dorsum basad from the ante-medial. The valve
in the male genitalia is short (not much longer than the tegumen), tapering to
an apex that, expanding slightly, is broadly bilobed. The lobe from the
transtilla is slender, irregularly sinuous, separated from the main part of the
valve by an angular process. The uncus is humped and invested basally with a fan
of blade-like setae. The aedeagus and vesica are long, slender, the latter
bearing a scattering of small triangular spines. This description of the
genitalia is based on a male from Saleyer I. (off Sulawesi) as no Philippines
males were available; it has not been possible to examine Semper's (1896-1902)
material but his original illustration has the forewing facies characters
mentioned above. It is assumed here that the typical race flies in the
Philippines, Sulawesi and associated islands.
Semper illustrated the larva of tripartita. It is dark brownish
green with the thorax expanded into a dorsal hump; there are spines dorsally,
most pronounced at the distal end. There are darker spots on each segment sub-dorsally and a darker diffuse line lateroventrally. The host-plant is Spondias
A. tripartita microsundana ssp. n. (Holotype W. BALI (Kalis) BM noctuid slide 10245) has a very much
narrower bilobed apex to the valve and a broader projection from the transtilla
which is narrow only over the distal third. The uncus is not humped but still
has a basal fan of setae. The subspecies also occurs in the Kei Is. and female
specimens from Timor and Larat are also presumed to belong to it.
A. tripartita pratti Bethune-Baker comb. & stat. n. is known from New
Guinea to the Solomons. In the male genitalia the uncus lacks the basal fan of
setae, the valve apex is single, tapering uniformly, the transtilla projection
is slender, not sinuous, and the intervening lobe is longer, rounded rather than
angular; there is an external lobe to the valve that is barely evident in the
other two races.
Aplotelia oetakwa sp. n. (Holotype Oetakwa
R., Snow Mts, Dutch NEW GUINEA (Meek), BM noctuid slide 6283) has
forewing facies as in diplographa but is distinguished by strikingly
different male genitalia: in the valves the transtilla projection is twice as
massive as in tripartita; the main part of the valve is very long,
extending to 5mm beyond the tegumen, slender, tapering, with a serrate dorsal
margin; the aedeagus is small, tapering distally and with large processes
centrally, one thornlike and the other a slender ampulla; opposite the aedeagus
thorn is a pair of slender spines, a similar pair occurring also at the aedeagus
apex. The species is found widely in New Guinea.
Figure 6. Distribution of species of Aplotelia. 1. A.
diplographa, 2. A. nubilosa, 3a. A tripartita, 3b. A.
t. microsundana 3c. A. t. pratti, 4. A. oetakwa
Despite the variety of morphological characteristics, precise
relationships between the species are obscure. Characters pairing eastern and
western species have already been mentioned; diplographa and oetakwa at
the geographical extremes have very similar forewing facies. All four species
could well represent fragmentation of the range of an ancestral species into
allopatric diverging taxa (N.E. Himalaya; Sunda; Philippines + Sulawesi; New
Guinea) that have subsequently redispersed to overlap. This dispersal appears to
have been from west to east for both diplographa and tripartita.
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