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Stictoptera signifera Walker
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: 174.
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.

Stictoptera signifera (1)

Stictoptera signifera (3)

Stictoptera signifera (2)

Stictoptera signifera (4)

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 to them.

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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