Steiria signifera Walker, 1857, List Specimens lepid. Insects
Colln Br. Mus. 13: 1136.
Gadirtha ferromixta Walker,
1864, J. Linn. Soc. Lond., Zool. 7: 162.
Steiria humeralis Walker, 1864, J. Linn. Soc. Lond., Zool. 7:
Minica nigrilinea Walker, 1864, J. Linn. Soc. Lond., Zool. 7: 176.
Stictoptera transversa Snellen,
1877, Tijdschr. Ent. 20: 30.
Stictaptera griseata Hampson,
1912, Cat. Lepid. Phal. Br. Mus. 11: 161, syn. n.
Stictoptera poiensis Prout,
1926, Sarawak Mus. J. 3: 223, syn. n.
Stictaptera signifera Walker;
Holloway, 1976: 19.
Diagnosis. This and Stictoptera cuculloides
Guenée share the possession of two aligned subapical
black streaks on the forewing and a similar range of polymorphism. S.
signifera is smaller than S. cucullioides, the hindwings narrower
with a broader dark border. The medial line of the forewing in the male is more
irregular and less angled in signifera. In the female this line is
straighter, often dividing a basal brown half from a distal, generally paler
half; the less oblique line of signifera meets the dorsum at two thirds
to three-quarters rather than at about four fifths. The subapical pair of dashes
is more developed in cucullioides, usually with a secondary row anterior
The two species are most reliably distinguished by characters of the
male genitalia. The uncus is relatively longer and more slender in cucullioides,
particularly the portion distal to the lateral row of setal blades; the
dorsal arm of the valve is apically relatively broader in cucullioides. The
central lobe of the saccus extends further beyond the lateral lobes in cucullioides.
In both species the dorsal margin of the arcuate juxta has a central
bidentate process, but it is generally narrower in signifera.
Apart from the typical uniform form (no .1) and the one with the
wing divided as described above, (no. 2) there are forms with the basal zone
beige or brown with a convex distal margin. There are forms with the
length of the forewing obscured by grey blotches (no. 4). The basal part of
the wing is often bisected by a black line, sometimes broadened towards the
dorsum, occurring in combination with all the forms mentioned above (no. 3).
Most of these forms have been given names but these are confusing. It is
suggested here that a system should be devised enabling cross reference between
like forms in all species in the signifera/cucullioides complex, and
similarly for the ferrifera complex discussed later. This is beyond the
scope of this work.
Taxonomic note. The two species discussed above have a complex of close relatives in the
Australasian and south west Pacific tropics that show a similar range of
polymorphism. They were discussed briefly by Holloway (1979).
Geographical range. Indian subregion, Sundaland, Sulawesi.
Habitat preference. On Kinabalu the species was common from 1000 - 2000m,
and frequent up to 2600m. In the Mulu survey it was found to be common in most
habitats from the lowlands to the upper montane forest except for the kerangas
and secondary alluvial forest. In Brunei it was, found to be frequent everywhere
except in areas of secondary vegetation and in the dry kerangas at Telisai.
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