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Lebeda Walker

Type species: nobilis Walker.

This genus, also reviewed by Lajonquière (1979), has facies similar to that of female Metanastria, but the species  are larger, and the subtornal dark markings of the forewing are conspicuous. The aedeagus of the male genitalia has a ventral subapical spur as in Metanastria, but this is tapering rather than disc-like, and more coarsely spined. The cubile arms are short, rectangular, with spining on the distal margin.

The genus consists of two species groups. The first has strong sexual dimorphism, the male having a longitudinal dark zone over the anterior of the forewing or restricted more to the centre, whereas the very much larger female has the wings more uniformly pale. There is a prominent white discal lunule. In the male genitalia the cubile arms are well separated; the distal margin is more rounded than in the other group. Distinction of the three taxa involved is included in the specific account of L. cognata.

The second group shows no sexual dimorphism, the discal lunule of the forewing is weak or absent, the spines of the aedeagus spur and the spur itself are more irregular, and the cubile arms are broader, set adjacent to each other. There are five species in this group: L. trifascia Walker from India, the three described for Borneo, and L. metaspila Walker comb. n. from Sulawesi. Lajonquière excluded this last species from Lebeda on the basis of mainland Asian specimens he attributed to it. Fresh material from Sulawesi collected on Project Wallace has revealed its true status as stated in the description of L. intermedia below.

Sevastopulo (1939) has described the early stages of L. nobilis. The egg is barrel-shaped, whitish with a dark spot at each end and three olive brown rings. In the larva the ground colour of the body varies from dark blue-grey to pale silver-grey; the body is speckled with small, scale-like hairs. The prothorax has an anterior dorsal fringe of buff hairs projecting over the head; the dorsolateral and lateral protruberances bear similar long buff hairs. The rest of the body segments have lateral protruberances, those of the meso- and metathorax bearing the longest hairs. These thoracic segments have transverse dorsal folds lined with dark skin, fringed internally with blue-tipped, red-brown, acute hairs, and externally with short buff hairs. A2 to A8 each have subdorsal brushes anteriorly of the red-brown hairs, covered by ribbon-like buff hairs. All these ornaments are obscured or flattened in repose, exposed or erected on alarm. The venter is black with a red lateral stripe. Pupation is in a dense cocoon of  blackish brown silk spun in a leaf, and through it protrude larval hairs. The pupa is purplish and red, with golden pubescence on the abdomen.

The hosts given were bracken-fern (Pteridium), Pinus (Pinaceae) and Rubus (Rosaceae) but the range of diet is much wider, as discussed below.

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