Type species: ludifica Linnaeus (Europe).
The genus contains a number of species with striking black and white
forewings, mostly more finely fasciated than the Bornean species (see Kobes (in
press)), and grey, yellow and white hindwings. Apart from the European type
species the genus is restricted to the Oriental tropics and subtropics, mainly
from montane localities in the tropics. The male genitalia are of a type found
in other noctuid subfamilies (e.g. Acronictinae, Agaristinae) with a simple
harpe, slender valves with a coronate distal margin and a setose peniculus;
there is a single corema on sternite 8.
Gardner (1946) described the larva of the Indian species, champa Moore,
and grouped it with species in the genus Acronicta. It has a distinctly
hairy appearance with paired hirsute protruberances on the thorax and
sub-terminally. It is black, the dorsal surface ornamented with reddish brown
streaks and symmetrically arranged white spots on each abdominal segment, the
latter most intense on the first abdominal segment. The spiracles are white and
between them on the flanks from the metathorax backwards are white trapezoid
patches invested with white hairs. The European species has a larva of similar
appearance but with (in a dried larva), three buff dorsal lines and further such
lines arranged in a series of ‘half-asterisks’ along the flanks, grading
ventrally into a generally buff, rather stippled zone; the hairs are longer than
in champa, less adpressed, and buff.
Gardner gave the host-plants of champa as Prunus and Pyrus (Rosaceae).
The European species is recorded from Sorbus (Kirby 1903). The genus may
therefore be restricted to Rosaceae; the genus Prunus extends to New
Guinea and Queensland.
to Contents page