Olene mendosa Hübner, 1823, Zuträge Samml. exot.
Schmett., (2): 19.
Antipha basalis Walker, 1855, List Specimens lepid. Insects
Colln Br. Mus., 4: 806.
Nioda fusiformis Walker, 1855, List Specimens lepid. Insects
Colln Br. Mus., 5:1070.
Rilia lanceolata Walker, 1855, List Specimens lepid. Insects
Colln Br. Mus., 5:1075.
Dasychira sawanta Moore,  1858-9, Cat. Lepid. Insects
Mus. E. Ind. Co., 2: 340.
Dasychira basalis Walker, 1865, List Specimens lepid. Insects
Colln Br. Mus., 32: 362.
Dasychira basigera Walker,
1865, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 32: 363.
Dasychira divisa Walker, 1865, List Specimens lepid. Insects
Colln Br. Mus., 32: 363.
Rilia distinguenda Walker,
1865, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 32: 435.
Turriga invasa Walker, 1869, Characters undescribed Lepid.
Diagnosis. This is a very variable species in both sexes. Males occur in two forms,
themselves showing variability: with a pale or dark blotch restricted to basal
to the transverse black antemedial; with whitish or pinkish blotches extending
in an irregular sequence of three in the subcostal zone. The discal stigma is
inconspicuous. The commoner female form has irregular, longitudinal dark brown
zone in the centre of the wing. A rarer form is paler, with basal and postdiscal
brown areas, the latter bounded basally by the discal lunule. The hindwings of
both sexes are paler than in congeners.
Taxonomic note. Schintlmeister (1994) separated the form lacking extensive blotching
along the forewing costa as a distinct species, sawanta Moore, but there
are no differences in male genitalia between the two forms, and both were reared
in a series of siblings in India, so the taxa are treated as synonymous here as
in Nielsen, Edwards & Rangsi (1996). Similar male dimorphism is seen in the
related African O. [Argila] basalis Walker comb. n. and, as seen
above, in Orgyia osseata. The original description of O. basalis has
priority over the second instance of this specific epithet in the synonymy of mendosa,
but Antipha basalis has page priority (806 versus 810). Nevertheless,
in the interests of stability, Antipha basalis is best also treated as a
junior secondary homonym of Argila basalis.
Geographical range. Oriental tropics east to New Guinea and Australia.
Habitat preference. Light trap records during recent surveys show the
species as infrequent from the lowlands (including mangrove) to 1620m, but its
pest status (see below) indicates it may attain much higher abundance on
occasions, particularly in cultivated areas.
Biology. The larva has been described by Bell (MS), Gardner (1938), Sevastopulo
(1938, 1942), and Chey (1987), being illustrated in the last reference. Early
instars differ from later ones in having only the first two of the four dorsal
brushes well developed; the third is shorter, pale, and the fourth remains dark
as the rest of the body. The final instar has them all pale dull orange, though
Gardner and Sevastopulo described them as greyish white. The head, legs and
prolegs are crimson. The body is black with paler tracery and a dorsal row of
segmental white streaks posterior to the brushes. The setae are generally white
except in the more dense pencils flanking the head and dorsally at the rear,
where they are black. A lateral white pencil precedes a more flocculent black
one on A2.
The host-plant range is very large and includes (references cited above;
Sevastopulo, 1940; Pholboon, 1965; Browne, 1968; Kuroko & Lewvanich,
1993; Hutacherern & Tubtim, 1995; unpublished IIE and FRIM records): Mangifera
(Anacardiaceae); Ceiba, Durio (Bombacaceae); Terminalia (Combretaceae);
Raphanus (Cruciferae); Shorea, Dipterocarpus(Dipterocarpaceae); Aleurites,
Excoecaria, Ricinus (Euphorbiaceae);Pelargonium (Geraniaceae); Saccharum,
Sorghum, Zea (Gramineae); Cinnamomum (Lauraceae); Careya (Lecythidaceae);
Acacia, Arachis, Bauhinia, Butea, Cajanus, Cassia, Dalbergia,
Pithecellobium, Sesbania, Vigna (Leguminosae); Lagerstroemia (Lythraceae);
Hibiscus (Malvaceae); Zizyphus (Rhamnaceae); Rosa (Rosaceae);
Coffea (Rubiaceae); Populus (Salicaceae); Santalum (Santalaceae);
Dimocarpus, Litchi, Nephelium, Schleichera (Sapindaceae); Achras,
Palaquium (Sapotaceae); Melongena, Solanum (Solanaceae); Camellia (Theaceae);
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