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Maurilia iconica Walker
Anomis iconica Walker, 1857 [1858], List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 13: 992.
cervina Walker, 1866, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 35: 1968.
Anomis candida instabilis Butler, 1889, Illust. typical Specimens lepid. Heterocera Colln Br. Mus., 7: 72.
Maurilia bifascia Gaede, 1915, Int. ent. Z., 9: 80.
Maurilia iconica ab.
iconicoides Strand, 1915, Arch. Naturgesch., 80 (A2): 166.
tunicata Swinhoe, 1918, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (9), 2: 71.
Maurilia undaira Swinhoe, 1918, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (9), 2: 71 (partim; fig. 3A, slide no. 16815).
Maurilia fortis Swinhoe, 1918, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (9), 2: 72.
Maurilia dalama Swinhoe, 1918, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (9), 2: 72.
Maurilia gilva Swinhoe, 1919, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (9), 3: 317.
Acontia elima Swinhoe, 1919, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (9), 3: 318.
Maurilia iconicoides Gaede, 1938, Gross-Schmett. Erde, 11: 441.
Maurilia subiconica Kobes, 1997: 172, syn. n.


Maurilia iconica

Diagnosis and taxonomic note.
Both Bornean species of this genus have very similar and variable facies, with diffusely fasciated and variable grey to reddish forewings, sometimes with a crescent-shaped reniform stigma. The only potentially reliable distinction noted within Sundaland is that the posterior half of the postmedial row of dots is slightly irregular in iconica and straight in the next species. The species are best distinguished on male abdominal characters (females appear to be uninformative), as indicated by Kobes (1997) in Sumatra, recognising also a third species. The three species were also recognised by Swinhoe (1918: loc. cit.), who described further Australasian taxa based on females. All available Indo-Australian names currently in the genus were placed as synonyms of iconica by Nielsen et al. (1996), who also considered the infrasubspecific names of Strand listed had been validated by Gaede (1938, Gross-Schmett. Erde, 11: 441), though Gaede’s account is confusing, stating that all forms were from India, implying variability rather than segregated races (though the type material of rufescentibrunnea is from Singapore and that of iconicoides from New Guinea).

In iconica the basal hair pencils of the abdomen are larger than in the other two species and blackish rather than pale brown. In the genitalia the central costal process of the valve is short, blunt. The aedeagus vesica has a cluster of four to six blade-like cornuti at the apex, directed dorsally or radiating. Lateral setal patches on the juxta/anellus have the setae moderate in thickness, some relatively long. The Swinhoe taxa fortis, dalama, and gilva are based on females that are probably referable to iconica.

Material from Seram eastwards is generally a darker, richer red than in typical Oriental iconica, and could be referred to ssp. tunicata Swinhoe.

The third species, M. cervina Walker stat. rev. (= instabilis Butler, syn. rev. and pallidipennis Warren, syn. n.) is paler and greyer than either of the Bornean species. The costal process of the valve is smaller than in iconica, almost vestigial. The aedeagus vesica has more slender, ventrally directed, curved cornuti apically. The lateral setal patches of the juxta/anellus are more dispersed and robust than in iconica. The species occurs in India and Burma and may be that from Sumatra referred to the African M. arcuata Walker by Kobes (1997); arcuata lacks cornuti in the vesica whereas the Sumatran species is stated to have three slender ones.

The Australian taxon elima Swinhoe, placed as a synonym of iconica in Nielsen et al. (1996), is based on a single female that appears identical to M. arcuata ab. lubinata Strand. Its status needs further investigation.

Geographical range. Indo-Australian tropics from Sri Lanka to Queensland, Samoa, Rarotonga and New Caledonia.

Habitat preference. Only one Bornean male has been definitely identified by dissection: from lowland alluvial forest during the Mulu survey. Two possible females were taken in lowland forest in Brunei. All were taken below 100m.

Biology. Bell (MS) described larvae in India attributed to iconica; Gardner (1941, 1946b) described the chaetotaxy. The larva has segments T1-T3 swollen into a berry-like tumidity. This is much more conspicuous in early instars. The body narrows to A8 which bears dorsally a pair of rounded, conical tubercles. All four prolegs are present, equal. The colour is a dark brown, profusely dotted and marbled with lighter brown. There are broken, thin, white subdorsal, dorsolateral, lateral and spiracular lines, though these are indistinct on the berry, which is more a dull olive green with white surrounds to the bases of the black setae. Between the lines the body may be tinged more greenish or orange, though there is some variation in colouring and marking, with shades of green rather than brown, and yellow rather than white. This variability may indicate more than one member of the complex was studied.

The pupa is enclosed in a cocoon of whitish silk, a dirty fuscous, boat-shaped, semiovoid in the midst of silken webbing on the face of a curled leaf or two adjacent ones. The pupa is claviform, with the abdominal end narrow but bluntly rounded without a cremaster. Segments A9 and A10 are minutely rugose dorsally in a sort of honeycomb where the longitudinal ridges are much stronger. Sound production is not noted.

The larvae live on the undersides of young leaves or leaf stalks when older, and retire to twigs or branches, dropping off on a silk when disturbed.

Recorded host-plants were Vatica (Dipterocarpaceae) and Terminalia (Combretaceae). Mathur (1942) noted the larva also on Shorea (Dipterocarpaceae; also in unpublished FRIM records), Anogeissus (Combretaceae) and Tectona (Verbenaceae). Yunus & Ho (1980) gave Saccharum (Gramineae) as a host-plant. A definite host association for iconica from Samoa (Robinson, 1975) is Terminalia (Combretaceae).

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