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“Giaura” multipunctata Swinhoe
Giaura multipunctata Swinhoe, 1919, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (9), 4: 119.
punctata Swinhoe, 1890, Trans. ent. Soc. London, 1890: 236, praeocc. in Giaura by Sarotricha punctata Lucas (Poole, 1989, and see below).


"Giaura" multipunctata

The species has the appearance of a small brown-grey Characoma, the forewing appearing slightly chequered, with fine dark brown fasciae. The forewing is particularly distinguished by an array of small black dots: three in an oblique row subbasally; one rather elongate one medially; submarginal and marginal rows in the tornal area.

Taxonomic note. Tymbal organs are present, but not of the same structure as in leucophaea, whilst being of the elongate general sarrothripine type (Fig. 129). In the male genitalia, the black-scaled processes are very much longer than the valves, strongly curved, with the scales restricted to the apex. The bursa of the female is finely scobinate throughout, and the ductus has a sclerotised colliculum over its basal third. The species is related to “G.” sceptica Swinhoe (Indian Subregion, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, Timor), which is greyer, with more angular fasciae and less prominent dark dots. In sceptica tymbal organs are lacking and the male genitalia have the patch of black scales on a more extensive apical limb of the valve process, the limb defined by a distinct dorsal lobe basal to it. “G.” murina Rothschild comb. n. (Bismarcks, New Guinea), though originally described in the Lithosiinae, is a further member of the group, a greyer version of multipunctata. It may be a synonym of “G.” punctata Lucas from Queensland. A specimen from Sulawesi is also referable to this eastern complex.

Geographical range. Indian Subregion, Burma, China, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo.

Habitat preference. The species is uncommon in montane forest, four specimens being taken between 1000m and 1790m during the Mulu survey, singly at 1465m on Bukit Retak and 1670m on Bukit Pagon in Brunei, and at about 600m on G. Trus Madi. One specimen has been taken at about 150m at Brumas in the lowlands of Sabah.

Biology. Bell (MS) reared the related G. sceptica in India. The larva is cylindrical with all prolegs present. The head is round, very slightly bilobed dorsally, a dull yellow-white. The body is smooth with primary setae set on minute tubercles. It is a light green colour with a fine marbling of curved and angled lines of white except in dorsal and lateral longitudinal bands.

The larvae feed exclusively on young leaves or flower buds, and are found most commonly when the host plant is in flush. They lie in a web spun over, and loose from, the surface of a leaf, or in a silken tent spun between leaves. They are secretive and have a capacity unusual amongst Macrolepidoptera to move in reverse as well as forward.

The greenish orange pupa terminates in a conical cap with no cremaster but with the anterior margin beaded with ridges. It is enclosed in a long, ovoid cocoon, densely woven from light yellow silk and incorporating few extraneous fragments.

The host plant recorded by Bell was Grewia (Tiliaceae).

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