Miscellaneous Genera III
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Homodes Guenée

Type species: crocea Guenée.

Synonym: Philecia Walker (type species bracteigutta Walker).

Species in this genus have a distinctive, fasciated, orange, red, pink and brown facies as described for Bornean species below. The male antennae are ciliate. The labial palps are relatively short, upcurved, with the third segment less than a third of the length of the second.

The male abdomen has the eighth sternite much broader and slightly shallower than the tergite, with slight lateral rods but no frame or coremata. The tergite has splayed apodemes at the (anterior) apex of a narrow triangle of sclerotisation. The genitalia have a scaphium. The valves are narrow, apically rounded, with a definite costa that may have an apical lobe though this usually falls well short of the actual apex of the valve; there is also a distinct saccular process. There is a juxta that could be of the inverted ‘V’ type. The saccus is well developed, broad. The aedeagus vesica is broad with numerous small diverticula some scobination but no cornuti.

The female (
bracteigutta) has the ostium between the seventh and eighth segments; the seventh sternite is slightly reduced, with the distal corners of the tergite somewhat expanded. The ductus is short, unsclerotised, the corpus bursae asymmetric, elongate, finely rugose throughout.

In addition to the species described below, it is possible that H. iomolybda Meyrick will be found in Borneo, as it occurs in the N.E. Himalaya, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Sulawesi, Ambon and Queensland. It is a light orange as in crocea but with the forewing antemedial, medial and postmedial fasciae equally clearly defined.

The genus extends east to the Solomons and has one species in Madagascar (Poole, 1989), though this appears atypical in facies and may be misplaced; most of the species are recorded from Borneo, including
fulva Hampson according to the original description and Poole. The Bornean specimen is probably not a syntype and has not been located; it may have since been referred to another species.

The biology and early stages of several species have been described and sometimes illustrated by Kalshoven (1961), Bigger (1988), Common (1990), Kuroko & Lewvanich (1993) and Bell (MS). The larva in all species is strikingly modified and mimics the aggressive Oecophylla ants that are often found on its host plants. The head and body are glossy reddish brown or a semitranslucent yellow-green, variably streaked laterally on each segment with golden yellow. There can be prominent dark eyespots on A2 and A3 directed forwards and on A9 and A10 directed backwards. There are one or more pairs of long, clubbed, possibly glandular or tactile setae on each segment. At each end of the body they are more frequent, some blade-like, and with a pair of shorter, strongly clubbed ones at the anterior of the thorax on T1; there may also be a posterior clubbed pair on A9. Segments A5 and A8 are humped dorsally, and the anterior four abdominal segments are lengthened and bear only a single pair of enlarged setae. The prolegs are lost on A3 and reduced on A4.

The modified setae are kept in incessant motion, jerking rapidly. Bigger (1988) noted that, when disturbed, the first three abdominal segments are arched upwards, the tip of the abdomen is jerked up and down, and the head and thorax jerked from side to side. This defensive reaction is thought to make the larva resemble a small group of ants. Bigger also noted resemblance to a centipede when the larva is at rest, but other authors (e.g. Kalshoven, 1961) have not supported this.

Bell noted a bloom, described as a white efforescence, on the pupa of H. vivida Guenée, but did not note one for H. fulva Hampson, describing the pupa as smooth and shining. No other reference to this has been located.

A wide range of host plants has been recorded for the genus (authors cited above; Robinson et al., 2001; Miller et al., unpublished): Anacardium, Mangifera (Anacardiaceae); Durio (Bombacaceae); Terminalia (Combretaceae); Excoecaria, Hevea, Macaranga, Pimelodendron (Euphorbiaceae); Cinnamomum (Lauraceae); Derris, Erythrina, Pithecellobium, Pterocarpus (Leguminosae); Amyema, (Loranthaceae); Kleinhovia (Malvaceae); Lansium (Meliaceae); Artocarpus, Ficus (Moraceae); Embelium (Myrsinaceae); Syzygium (Myrtaceae); Piper (Piperaceae); Coffea, Neonauclea, Versteegia (Rubiaceae); Flindersia (Rutaceae); Cupaniopsis, Dimocarpus, Nephelium, Pometia (Sapindaceae); Geunsia, Teijsmanniodendron (Verbenaceae).

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