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Barasa acronyctoides Walker
acronyctoides Walker, 1862, J. Linn. Soc. (Zool.), 6: 192.
cana Hampson, 1893, Illust. typical Specimens lepid. Heterocera Colln Br. Mus., 9: 107.
caradrinoides Snellen, 1879, Tijdschr. Ent., 22: 94.


Barasa acronyctoides

Diagnosis. The forewings are a slightly variegated ashy grey, rounded apically and at the tornus. There are finely linear black fasciae, the postmedial being strongly but irregularly sinuous. There are tufts of raised scales in the discal area. The male has the conspicuous black hair pencil mentioned in the generic description.

Geographical range. Oriental Region east to Sulawesi.

Habitat preference. The species is frequent in a wide range of lowland forest types, including disturbed, coastal and heath forests, and extends more weakly up into montane forests to as high as 1618m.

Biology. The life history in India was described by Bell (MS). The larva is oblong, flattened, squat, lacking prolegs on A3 and slightly broader at that point. The segments are well defined, the body surface dull and smooth. Secondary setae, as long as the breadth of the larva, are borne on small but prominent verrucae. The head is somewhat heart-shaped, bright reddish orange, and the legs and prolegs are orange. The body is chocolate-brown, pinkish laterally on A4-6.

The larva lives on the underside of young leaves of the host-plant, occasionally being found on the upperside, and the body is flexed centrally when at rest. Pupation is in a cocoon attached to a twig or branch, incorporating strips of bark that protrude to give it a rough surface. The cocoon has an anterior peak and is broadest centrally, tapering in a spindle-shape posteriorly; the sides are steep. The adult emerges through a vertical exit slit at the peaked end.

The host plant was invariably Eugenia (Myrtaceae), noted also in India by Mathur (1942; as Syzygium), and in the Andamans (unpublished IIE records).

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