Thermesia praecipua Walker,
Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 33: 1056.
öst. Fregatte Novara, Lep. Het.: pl. 120, f. 47.
Capnodes macrocera amboinica Pagenstecher, 1884, Jb.
nassau. Ver. Naturk.
The antennae are very long, reaching approximately to the forewing apex in
males. The forewing distal margin is rounded rather than angled, and the
hindwing is also almost circular. The markings of the forewing are as in
congeners, but only the costal triangle of the submarginal is conspicuously
darker, bounded all round with a slightly paler line, and truncated at its
dorsal end. The tornal zone of the wing grades darker, the paler part a more
ochreous purple-brown in females. The hindwing is much more uniform than in
other species and is pale at the base, grading to very dark brown, almost black,
over the exterior half.
note. Poole (1989) placed amboinica as
a synonym of M.
(see below), but it was associated without comment with praecipua
this is based on an unpublished note by W.W. Brandt who may have examined the
type in Wiesbaden (E.D. Edwards, pers. comm.). Strongly marked material in BMNH from
the Solomons may represent a distinct species or a further extension of the
range of praecipua.
range. Indian Subregion to New Guinea, Queensland and Bismarcks; ?Solomons.
preference. The species is infrequent in lowland forest, the highest
records being singletons from 900m in stunted hill forest on Bukit Monkobo in
Sabah and in lower montane forest on the limestone G. Api.
Bell (MS) reared praecipua in India. The larva is spindle-shaped, the head and
anal segments about half the width of the central part. All prolegs are equally
developed. The head is pale, dull yellowish green, darkening slightly ventrally.
The body is bright grass-green, tending towards emerald, with a lateral
canary-yellow line, with oblique lines running up to just below it on each
segment from behind and below the spiracles, associated with yellow dots. These
lines merge with a broader band below the spiracular level on the thorax, and
can coalesce into a broader zig-zag in the spiracular region along the length of
larva lives under mature leaves, usually fully stretched, and pupates in the
soil in a loosely constructed, oval cell. The pupa lacks any bloom.
plant was Ichnocarpus (Apocynaceae). Robinson et
(2001) also attribute a record of Aglaia (Meliaceae) to Bell, but this is probably derived
from a misplaced sheet of his text on Papuacola gemina (p.
148) that was headed with ‘Mecodina praecipua’ but later corrected when the identity
was clarified .
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