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Cosmophila flava Fabricius comb. rev. 
Noctua flava Fabricius, 1775, Ent. Syst., p. 601.
Noctua stigmatizans Fabricius, 1775, Ent. Syst., p. 601.
Xanthia fimbriago Stephens, 1829, Illustr. Brit. Ent., 3: 67.
Cosmophila xanthindyma Boisduval, 1833, Faune ent. Madag. Lép. p. 94.
Cosmophila indica Guenée, 1852, Hist. Nat. Insectes, Spec. gén. Lépid. 6: 396.
Cirroedia variolosa Walker, 1857, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 11: 750.
Cirroedia edentata Walker, 1857, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 11: 750.
Cosmophila aurantiaca Prittwitz, 1867, Ent. Ver. Stettin, 28: 277.
Anomis serrata Barnes & McDunnough, 1913, Contr. nat. Hist. Lep. N. Amer. 2 (4): 169.

Cosmophila flava

Cosmophila flava
(New Caledonia)

Diagnosis. This and the next species are very similar in facies. Whilst the males are easy to distinguish by the bipectinate antennae in flava versus fasciculate ones in lyona Swinhoe, females are less reliably separated on external features. The females of flava generally have a distinct distal bulge to the postemedial over the dorsal half, matching a similarly strong bulge over the costal half, whereas in lyona this is only slight, the line being more a combination of the lesser curvature of the anterior section. It is advisable to confirm female classifications by dissection, where flava has a broader and more strongly bilobed sterigma; see also Sugi (2003).

Taxonomic note. Poole (1989) included auragoides Guenée as a new synonym of flava, whereas Tams (1924a) treated it as distinct, probably the African sister-species of lyona Swinhoe. As Tams examined the type material, this is likely to be correct.

Geographical range. The species is found throughout the tropics and subtropics and is strongly migratory (Holloway, 1977), being found on remote Atlantic islands such as Ascension and St. Helena, and extending eastwards to Pitcairn I. in the Pacific (Holloway, 1990). Tams (1924a) recognised subspecies as follows: flava in the Old World; fimbriago in the New World.

Habitat preference. Only one female has been recorded on recent surveys, from an area of forest and secondary vegetation at Labi (30-60m) in the lowlands of Brunei. The species is a known pest of malvaceous crops and would be expected to occur with frequency in cultivated areas.

Biology. The larva has been described by Moore (1884-1887), Sevastopulo (1939a), Gardner (1947) and Bell (MS). The head is light orange-yellow. The body is dull greyish grass-green, slightly darker dorsally. There is a broken dorsal white line (a line of white spots), and similar but better defined lateral and supra-spiracular lines with yellower green in between.

Pupation is on the ground or in leaves in a loose cocoon. The pupa is without a bloom.

The host plants listed by Robinson
et al. (2001) may apply to this species and / or to C. lyona Swinhoe discussed next, as the species are easily confused: Bombax (Bombacaceae); Ipomoea (Convolvulaceae); Anthyllis, Phaseolus, Vigna (Leguminosae); Abelmoschus, Abutilon, Alcea, Althaea, Gossypium, Hibiscus, Kydia, Malvaciscus, Sida (Malvaceae).

The adult is known as a fruit piercer in Thailand (Bänziger, 1982; Kuroko & Lewvanich, 1993).

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