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Archigargetta Kiriakoff

Archigargetta viridigrisea Hampson comb. n
        Phalera viridigrisea
Hampson, 1898, J. Bombay nat. Hist Soc. 11: 626.
        One Sikkim  syntype located in BMNH is hereby designated LECTOTYPE and so labelled.
        Stauropus clothus Swinhoe, 1899, Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (7), 3: 110.
        Holotype examined. Syn. n. This name was placed as a synonym of Kikuchiana trichosticha
Hampson by Kiriakoff (1967), with wrong original genus and pagination cited.
        Pseudogargetta fuscicollis Gaede, 1930: 618. Paratypes examined. Syn. n.
Roepkeella tornalis Kiriakoff, 1974: 380. Syn. n. The original illustration of the male genitalia
             indicates that this taxon is viridigrisea.

Archigargetta viridigrisea

Diagnosis. The male is distinguished by its elongate, rather bluish grey fore-wings with reddish patches and a curved antemedial consisting of two fine dark lines; there are faint pale subapical markings. The female is larger, the forewings broader and with a greenish grey ground colour rather than the deep almost indigo of the male; the fasciation is more prominent.

Taxonomic notes. The genus Archigargetta Kiriakoff has been subject to much confusion in the literature. As recognised here, it consists of two species, one Oriental, one Melanesian. They are more or less identical in facies, each somewhat variable and sexually dimorphic, yet readily separable on characters of male genitalia. The Oriental species, viridigrisea Hampson, has male genitalia as illustrated by Kiriakoff (1968: fig. 17) and Holloway (1976: fig. 355) and the Melanesian one, amydra Turner, has been illustrated by Kiriakoff (1968: fig. 12). The major differences are in the uncus (long, straight, tapering in viridigrisea, compared with short, spatulate, and down-turned in amydra), valve (costa immaculate in viridigrisea but with a heavy, variably shaped sclerotised process in amydra) and aedeagus (short, stout with a large, globose, lobed vesica in viridigrisea but slender, apically spined, with a small, elongate vesica in amydra). The range of viridigrisea is given below. That of amydra is from Queensland to New Guinea and New Britain; its synonymy is suggested to be as follows:

Cascera amydra Turner, 1903, Proc. Linn. Soc. New South Wales 28:
    74. Photograph of holotype examined.

Polychoa styphlopis
ab. albostigmata Rothschild, 1917, Novit. zool. 24: 256. Holotype examined.
    Treated as distinct species by Kiriakoff (1968). Syn. n.

Pseudogargetta funebris
Gaede, 1930: 618. Holotype examined. Placed in Polychoa by Kiriakoff
    (1968). Syn. n.

Archigargetta cyclopea
Kiriakoff, 1967: 38. Holotype examined. Syn. n.
Archigargetta diakonoffi
Kiriakoff, 1967, Zool. Meded. Leiden. 42:191. Syn. n.

The male genitalia of cyclopea and diakonoffi, both from islands off New Guinea, are slightly different from those of mainland specimens, and the latter, based on a single male, has a broad rufous medial band to the forewing; it is suggested here that these differences, if constant, are of subspecific rather than specific quality.

The combination of these two species in the same genus means that Roepkeella Kiriakoff (1968: 40; type sp. fuscicollis Gaede) becomes a junior subjective synonym of Archigargetta Kiriakoff (1967: 38; type sp. cyclopea Kiriakoff), syn. n.

Geographical range (viridigrisea). Indian Subregion, Sundaland, Sulawesi.

Habitat preference. The species is infrequent in lowland dipterocarp forest but has been taken singly
in upper montane forest at 1930 m on G. Kinabalu.

Biology. The species has been reared in S. India. (Bell MS). The larva is cylindrical, somewhat spindle-shaped, the head rather large and the anal end rounded; the body is somewhat flattened. The claspers are stretched out behind, divergent. The head is more or less semicircular, the face convex, glabrous, the colour green with lateral red stripes. The body is glossy, glabrous, an oily light green with a supraspiracular yellow band, red-tinged on the first two thoracic segments; there is a black-rimmed and divided circle on abdominal segment 8 dorsally; a bluish tinge affects the body below the yellow band but the legs and prolegs are green.

The larva rests stretched out on the undersides of leaves with the head flexed to one side. It pupates in a cell made from a leaf folded and loosely fastened.

The Indian host-plant is Careya arborea, a tree in the Myrtaceae.

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