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Niphocona occidentalis sp. n.

Niphocona occidentalis
Figure 476
Figure 478

, 16-19mm. This species is very similar to alboapicalis, and is here compared with the Seram subspecies, minuens Prout. The general colour of the wings is a rich dark brown rather than greenish brown, similarly variegated and marked with paler zones, though with a distinct but diffusely defined darker spot in the zone between the postmedial and the margin of the hindwing. The forewing postmedial and antemedial are generally more clearly and finely defined, with the latter more transverse, meeting the dorsum almost at a right-angle rather than being angled obliquely away from it basad. The medial triangular mark is almost as close to the antemedial as it is in two places to the postmedial, but it is separated from the antemedial in minuens by a gap of at least 2mm. In the male abdomen the seventh tergite bears a pair of outcurved, tapering, digitate processes rather than a pair of much shorter, rounded and slightly bilobed ones. The densely fringed posterior margin of the sternite has larger, narrower and more posteriorly directed lateral processes than in minuens, and their inner extremities are more widely separated on either side of a broader central process. In the male genitalia, the uncus is shorter, more robust, and the valves are usually straighter and apically blunt, rather than acute and slightly outcurved. In the female, the distal margin of the eighth sternite is variably notched centrally, rather than trapezoid. The sterigma is robust, ovate, rather than squarish.

Holotype . SARAWAK: Gunong Mulu Nat. Park, R.G.S. Exped. 1977-8 (J.D. Holloway et al.), Site 23, April, W. Melinau Gorge, 250m, 430558, FEG 4, limestone forest, BM noctuid slide 20061.

Taxonomic note. There is a further taxon in Sulawesi (slides 20110, 20111) that may be a further species but is in some ways intermediate between its neighbours to the east and west. The wing markings are as in occidentalis, but the colour is greenish as in alboapicalis minuens, rather than brown. The genitalia of both sexes and the distal part of the male abdomen are also as in minuens. Typical alboapicalis from New Guinea has a more diffuse forewing antemedial than in minuens, slightly silvered and even more separated from the discal triangle; the colour basal to the postmedial is a more vivid green, and the apical white triangle is larger.

Geographical range. Borneo, Sumatra (slides 20122, 20123), Java (slide 20109), N.E. Himalaya (Assam; slides 19917, 19918), N. Vietnam.

Habitat preference. A single male was taken at 250m in dipterocarp forest just west of the Melinau Gorge on the lower slopes of the limestone G. Api.

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