Miscellaneous Genera V.
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Mecodina praecipua Walker
Thermesia praecipua
Walker, 1865, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 33: 1056.
Marmorinia nara Felder, 1874, Reise öst. Fregatte Novara, Lep. Het.: pl. 120, f. 47.
Capnodes macrocera amboinica
Pagenstecher, 1884, Jb. nassau. Ver. Naturk. 38: 242.


Mecodina praecipua Mecodina praecipua

. 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.

Taxonomic note. Poole (1989) placed amboinica as a synonym of M. bisignata Walker (see below), but it was associated without comment with praecipua by Nielsen et al. (1996); this is based on an unpublished note by W.W. Brandt who may have examined the type in Wiesbaden (E.D. Edwards, pers.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.

Geographical range. Indian Subregion to New Guinea, Queensland and Bismarcks; ?Solomons.

Habitat 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.

Biology. 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 the body.

The larva lives under mature leaves, usually fully stretched, and pupates in the soil in a loosely constructed, oval cell. The pupa lacks any bloom.

The host plant was
Ichnocarpus (Apocynaceae). Robinson et al. (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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