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Teleclita Turner

Teleclita sundana sp. n

Teleclita sundana * (Philippines)

Teleclita sundana(holotype, Singapore)

29 mm, 36 mm. This species is externally very similar in both sexes to T. cathana Schaus (Philippines) but has the subbasal markings on the fore-wing costa much closer to the thorax, especially in the female. The male of cathana has a broad area of grey suffusion between the forewing disc and the tornus, absent in sundana, and the hindwing lacks a dark margin and tornal grey shade, the costal grey shade being much narrower. In the male genitalia of sundana the central process of the valve is larger, with diagnostic ventral serration; the central process of uncus is acute rather than right angled, separated from the lateral portion which has a circular notch ventral to the central process; laterally the tegumen is more produced into an angle and the socii are smaller but asymmetric rather than rounded and symmetric.

The female of cathana has a more rufous thorax and abdomen and a narrower dark hindwing marginal.

Holotype SINGAPORE, 14.3.1921 (C. L. Collenette). Illustrated.

Other material, 1 PHILIPPINE Is., illustrated and used in description; 1 SARAWAK: Gunong Mulu Nat. Park, 1977-8 (J. D. Holloway et al.) Site 24, 250 m, W. Melinau Gorge, lowland forest on limestone.

Taxonomic notes. The two species mentioned above are very similar in appearance to cinnamomea Rothschild from New Guinea. All three species belong to a largely allopatric (cathana and sundana sympatric in the Philippines) array of species with rather similar male genitalia but differing facies. Other species involved are T. strigata Moore (India), T. insignifica Rothschild (Dammer) and T. dryinopa Dodd (Queensland).

T. Willett-Whittaker, in a note in the BMNH collection, has pointed out that Notodonta dryinopa Dodd (1902, ex Lower MS) is the same species as, and therefore a senior synonym of, Teleclita cydista Turner (1903, described from material sent by Dodd). Dodd had access to Lower's collection and inadvertently (1902) published Lower's manuscript name. Dodd material in the BMNH includes examples of the pupal spike mentioned in the paper, and the larval descriptions by Dodd and Turner undoubtedly refer to the same species on the same host-plant, therefore the names are here brought into synonymy, syn. n.

Geographical range. Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra, Philippines.

Habitat preference. The only Bornean specimen was taken in rain forest at 250 m on limestone.

Biology. The larva of strigata has been described by Gardner (1943) and Bell (MS). The abdomen behind the prolegs is considerably broadened, flattened ventrally to give an elliptical foliate structure that is held erect; the anal prolegs are much reduced. The first abdominal segment has a conspicuous back-curved dorsal horn. The head and skin are generally granulate, the former not wider than the thorax. The first three instars are a shining reddish brown and live on the undersides of the leaves. The mature larva rests on stems and twigs; it is green, suffused white dorsally and with brown markings, giving a general 'dead leaf' impression. The larva of dryinopa is very similar (Dodd 1902; Turner 1903). Pupation is on the bark of a tree in a hard, opaque, even-textured, ovoid cocoon made of wood cemented with silk set in a hollow made in the bark (Bell). The moth uses the pupal headpiece, which bears a spike, to cut its way out of the tough cocoon, making a round emergence hole; the headpiece remains attached to the head of the moth for this purpose (Dodd 1902; Turner 1903).

The host-plant in India and Australia is Terminalia. Data on a female in the original series of cathana Schaus also indicate Terminalia as a host. Terminalia is a member of the Combretaceae. Both the next genus and African relatives with similar adult facies and larval characters are recorded from Terminalia (Pinhey 1975).

* The male illustrated here for Teleclita sundana is in fact probably T. cathana Schaus. The true male, which will be illustrated by Dr R. Bender in the Heterocera Sumatrana Notodontidae volume, has basal markings to the forewing as in the female. The genitalia also differ from those shown in Figure 80, being more as in strigata, but with differences in uncus shape and in the shape of the central spine to the valve.

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