View Image Gallery of Tribe Hypocalini.

Hypocala violacea Butler
Hypocala violacea Butler, 1879, Trans. ent. Soc. London, 1879: 6.
Hypocala clarissima Butler, 1892, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6), 10: 21.
Hypocala kebeae
Bethune-Baker, 1906, Novit. zool., 13: 249.
Hypocala violacea Butler; Holloway, 1976: 35.

Hypocala violacea
Mature larvae of Hypocala violacea.
Images captured digitally by Mr Hok Kim Loong.

Diagnosis. The forewings are a more uniform rufous and violet brown, marks on the distal margin being reduced to a pair of dots at the tornus, the inner one white, the outer one black, ringed white, an enlarged member of the marginal row of white dots. The hindwing underside is broadly fawn over the anterior half, with darker striae.

Geographical range. Indo-Australian tropics.

Habitat preference. The species is recorded over a similar habitat and altitude range to andamana, though one specimen has been taken as high as 2600m on G. Kinabalu. It was particularly common in samples from upper montane forest at  around 1780m on G. Mulu, but this may have been a hill-topping phenomenon.

Biology. Bell (MS) described the larva, as possibly did Sevastopulo (1939b) under deflorata, as the larva sounds very similar to Bell’s description. General characteristics are as described for the genus, though A8 has a distinct transverse tumidity. The head is variably orange to black, and the body is black. Subdorsal and supraspiracular bands are present, each consisting of three white lines, the central one of each trio being bluer and more broken. There is a single subspiracular white line. Around each spiracle is an orange patch, often with some yellow elements. The tumidity of A8 is also variably pinkish orange or pink in a large transverse band. There is a triangular yellow patch laterally on A1, and diagonal yellow (or sometimes white) bands arising from the spiracles on A3-A6 back to the prolegs on the segment behind. The ventral surface is fuscous green grading more fuscous away from the centre. There is also a green variant of the larva, with the triple bands with yellow (subdorsal ) and grey (supraspiracular) lines. A larva reared out in Peninsular Malaysia by H.S. Barlow (pers. comm.) is intermediate in colouring, being green dorsally and ventrally, and black laterally, but has similar patterning. It is illustrated in Plate 28. The general behaviour of the larvae and the mode of pupation is as described in the generic account and for H. deflorata above.

The host plant recorded by both Bell and Barlow (see also Robinson
et al., 2001) was Diospyros (Ebenaceae).

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