Moore sensu Holloway, 1976: 1.
11-14mm. This is one of the largest in a sequence that follows of species with
very similar forewing facies resembling that of
Moore in having rather sinuous, punctate black fasciae amid a generally
variegated ground of blackish patches on silvery grey-white
or pale buff. The variegated shading can be concentrated in blocks; in
argentalis this is in a broad, transverse band from between the fasciae on
the dorsum, converging towards the costa so as not to extend beyond the discal
mark. In argentaloides the variegation is lighter, and the dark band is
only really evident over the anterior third adjacent to the discal mark. The
male genitalia have the apex of the valve more tapered than in argentalis,
and the harpe is more roundedly conical, with a more acute apex. The aedeagus
has a triangular process at the apex and a clump of cornuti in the vesica, both
absent in argentalis.
A male from Seram (slide 14398) has similar genitalia, though the aedeagus lacks
a triangular process at the apex, but one with similar but more strongly marked
forewings from the mountains of Luzon (slide 17622) has a larger and more basal
harpe, and a shorter, thicker aedeagus with a very large vesica that has a long
row of spines down one side of the major diverticulum.
SARAWAK: Gunong Mulu Nat. Park, R.G.S. Exped. 1977-8 (J.D.Holloway et al.),
Site 2, January, Camp 4, Mulu, 1790m. 452463 [upper] montane (moss) forest, BM
noctuid slide 17630.
(slide 17758), 2
(slide 14714) as holotype; 2,
as holotype but Site 1; 2
(slide 17757), 4
as holotype but Site 3, 1780m, 453463; 1
as holotype but Site 4; 3
(slide 17759) as holotype but Site 5, 1780m, 451463; 4
as holotype but Site 6, January, Gunong Mulu, 2360m. 467465, low summit scrub,
u. montane; 2
SABAH, Mt. Kinabalu, Park HQ, 1620m, and Power Station, 1930m, vii-ix.1965,
Cambridge Expedition to Mt. Kinabalu 1965 (H.J. Banks, H.S. Barlow & J.D.
Geographical range. Borneo, ?Seram.
Habitat preference. The species is common in upper montane forest, recorded
from 1620m to 2360m.
Biology. Hampson (1900) described the larva of argentalis as pale
buff with a faintly darker dorsal line, the verrucae with short yellow hairs and
a few long black ones. A tuft of the latter behind the head was stated to bear
cast head capsules, though these appear to be stacked in a more loose array than
in other genera, as illustrated by McFarland (1980) from unpublished sketches in
BMNH (see below). The cocoon is boat-shaped, incorporating bark fragments,
larval hairs and head capsules, and is attached to a twig. The general
appearance of the larva resembles that of a scale insect on the same host. The
host plant was Castanopsis (Fagaceae). Another manuscript account in BMNH
discussed by McFarland (1980) where identification of argentalis is more
tentative includes a possible host record for Quercus in the same family.
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