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Targalla delatrix Guenée comb. n.
Penicillaria delatrix Guenée, 1852, Hist. nat. Insectes, Spec. gen. Lepid. 6: 304, syntype
         'Java. BM noctuid slide 11051' hereby designated LECTOTYPE.
Phlegetonia delatrix Guenée; Holloway, 1976: 17 (part).

Targalla delatrix (Java)

This species is smaller than the next two and the colour of both wings is brown rather than grey; the intensity of the discal markings varies as does that of the basal area of the wing. It is advisable to check determinations by dissection: the male genitalia are relatively small, the valves square-ended, their dorsal margins concave, and the aedeagus vesica bears small cornuti only; in the female the sclerotised basal part of the ductus tapers evenly and symmetrically, and in the bursa the basal whorl is lightly sclerotised and there are three equal patches of scobination.

Geographical range. Widespread in the Indo-Australian tropics to Fiji, and also recorded from Rapa and the Society Is. It is perhaps this species that flies in Hawaii (Beardsley 1982).

Habitat preference. The species may be more associated with open and disturbed lowland habitats than its congeners. The only recent Bornean specimen seen was taken in an agricultural area at Tuaran, Sabah (Holloway 1976).

Biology. Host-plant records for this and the next two species, confused in the literature, are all from Myrtaceae: Eucalyptus, Eugenia, Myrtus, Syzygium (Sevastopulo 1941; Gardner 1948a; Browne 1968; Robinson 1975; Beardsley 1982; Bell, MS). Bell's voucher material has been located and is delatrix.

Bell (MS) described something of the larva and its biology. The larva is somewhat tumid over the thoracic segments. The head is red-orange, marked with clusters of yellow dots interveined with darker red; the labrum is shining yellow. The body is translucent, greenish rose pink, the anterior and posterior two to three segments more brownish; there is a more green tone below the spiracular level on abdominal segments 1 to 7. There is a dark, irregular dorsal line, a thin lateral yellow line, and another ‘tracheal’ yellow line passing through the spiracles. Variants can be more extensively green or more pinkish. Dimensions at maturity are 27mm by 6mm.

The larva is sluggish, sitting outstretched on the undersides of young leaves of the host-plant (Eugenia). Pupation is in the surface of the soil in a strong cocoon incorporating leaf litter.

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