View Image Gallery of Tribe Phyllodini.

Phyllodes Boisduval

Type species: conspicillator Cramer, Moluccas, New Guinea, Sulawesi.

Synonym: Xenodryas Gistl (unnecessary replacement name for Phyllodes).

This genus contains the largest catocalines in the Indo-Australian tropics, particularly in terms of wing span. The forewings have a distinctive shape and facies that combine to provide an effective leaf mimicry. They are elongate, narrow, with the costal margin increasing in curvature to the apex, and the dorsal and distal margins together have a strong and more even curvature. The apex is falcate. The greenish, rufous and brown wings are crossed by a series of diffuse, ripple-like fasciae that are transverse to the reniform and, distal to it, angled about a longitudinal line running from the apex to just posterior to the reniform that represents the midrib of the leaf. The reniform itself is transversely elongated, irregular, consisting of a series of pale then dark lines to generate a blotch of disease or other type of blemish on the
leaf. The hindwings tend to be darker brown with a band or patch of flash coloration, yellow or deep pink with white.

The male abdomen has an eighth segment that is typical of the ‘framed corematous’ type, the coremata being well developed within the type species, a massive central one flanked basally by a pair of smaller ones, partially arising from it; these subsidiary coremata are not present in species with yellow flash coloration on the hindwings. Lödl (2000) described and illustrated these coremata detail. The uncus is simple, apically acute, and there is a slight scaphium. The juxta is broad, plate-like in some species but approximates to an inverted ‘V’ in staudingeri Semper. The valves are narrow basally, broadening distally, roughly triangular, though with a small spur on the more ventral of the distal angles. There is a longitudinal lacuna dorsal to the sacculus extending to two thirds; there is a digitate process arising from the dorsal margin of this lacuna. The aedeagus vesica is moderately convolute, some diverticula with scobination, and usually with small, spiny rasp-like sclerotisations.

The female genitalia of the type species have the ostium between the eighth segment and a cleft in the posterior margin of the seventh sternite, which is otherwise well developed. The ductus is sclerotised over most of its length, tapering slightly. There is a short and much narrower membraneous section that joins the rather elongate, corpus bursae slightly subbasally and asymmetrically. The corpus bursae is strongly but irregularly corrugate, scobinate throughout. There is a prominent, pyriform appendix bursae arising at one third that gives rise distally to the ductus seminalis.

Bell (MS) described the biology of the Indian
P. consobrina Westwood. The first instar is ivory white, the second black with first indications of the pattern that develops in the third instar: a white dotted mantle over the dorsum of A5 to A8, bounded by white lines from the anal proleg to the dorsum of A5; the ocellus on A2 is ill-defined, orange. The final instar is stout, resembling those of Erebus in shape, but always sitting stretched out, slightly humped at A1 and A2. The main colour is a dark, smoky, rufous brown dorsally, sometimes suffused more golden in the spiracular region of the thorax and from A3 to A6. There is a lateral ocellus on T3, large, velvety black, shaded bluish where in contact with dorsolateral subspiracular bands, and surrounded by white spots. The dorsolateral ocellus on A2 is large but poorly defined in a golden tint enclosing a few white dots. The dark dorsum has a paler dorsal band of diamond-shaped patches, one small and one large behind it on each segment. There are oblique whitish stripes laterally, sloping backwards, on each segment from A3 to A6.

The larva does not show the reared-up defensive posture of Eudocima species (but see below for a comment on a related Australian species) but always sits stretched out, though slightly humped at A1 and A2. The pupa is without bloom, its surface shining, pupation occurring in a cell made of leaves of the host plant, such as in species of Eudocima.

Bell recorded the larva on Anamirta and Cocculus (Menispermaceae).

Common (1990) noted that the Australasian
P. imperialis Druce has a cryptic larva that, when threatened, exposes a dorsal pair of blue-black eye-spots associated with white tooth-like markings on the raised front half of its body. The host plant is also in the Menispermaceae, Pycnarrhena.

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