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“Meganola” nitidoides sp. n.


"Meganola" nitidoides

10-11mm, 13mm. The forewing facies is similar to that of
“M.” nitida Hampson (Himalaya, Burma) with strong black fasciation on a satiny silver-white ground, except the ground is not a creamier tint medially and marginally. The submarginal fascia has spikes to the margin on veins M3 and CuA1 rather than veins M1 and M, and the postmedial is more clearly doubled and less angled, converging more with the submarginal at the costa. The hindwings are a darker grey, lacking the faint postmedial fascia of nitida and, in the male, grading distinctly paler towards the dorsum. The male genitalia are larger and more robust than in nitida, where the valve shape is similar to that in scripta. The valve is tongue-like in nitidoides, with a flatly bifid harpe at about two-thirds and a ventrally directed spur from the costa subapically. The aedeagus vesica has a large, strongly hooked cornutus (absent from nitida). The female genitalia are much more massive than in nitida, more as in scriptoides, though the ductus is broader and is expanded more distally.

Holotype . SARAWAK: Gunong Mulu Nat. Park, R.G.S. Exped. 1977-8 (J.D. Holloway et al.), Site 14, February, Camp 2.5, Mulu, 1000m. 413461, lower montane forest.

Paratypes: 1 as holotype; 1 (slide 17040) as holotype but Site 26, April, . Api Pinnacles, 1200m. 428545, open scrub; 1 as above but Site 25, April, G. Api, 900m. 427550, lower montane forest; 1 SABAH: Mt. Kinabalu, Mesilau, 8.ii.1964 (J. Smart), Royal Soc. Exped.; 1 BRUNEI: 1670m, Bukit Pagon, montane forest, Feb. 1982 (Allen & Harman); 1 (slide 17653) Retak, L.P. 238, 1465 metres, BRUNEI, 22.iv.1981 (T.W. Harman).

Geographical range. Borneo.

Habitat preference. All material is from montane forest from 900m to 1670m.

Biology. The larva of nitida was described by Hampson (1900). It is pale yellow with black dorsal spots and an orange tinge to each end of the body. Head capsules are stacked on a tuft of reddish hair just posterior to the head.

It feeds on the edges of leaves from the underside, only the stack of head capsules being visible from above. Pupation is in a boat-shaped cocoon spun on a twig; the silk includes bark fragments, larval hair and the head capsules.

The host plant was Ilex (Aquifoliaceae). Robinson et al. (2001) also noted Lyonia, Pieris (Ericaceae) and Quercus (Fagaceae).

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