Theretra latreillei MacLeay
Sphinx latreillei MacLeay, 1827, In King, Surv. Austr., 2: 414.
Theretra latreillei MacLeay; Rothschild & Jordan, 1903: 772.
Chaerocampa lucasi Walker, 1856, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln. Br.
Mus., 8: 141.
Diagnosis. This species is like a smaller version of the previous three
but lacks black lateral patches at the base of the abdomen. The forewings
are relatively deeper, apically acute, with multiple, even, oblique bands;
the discal area is shaded slightly darker.
Taxonomic notes. Oriental material is referable to ssp. lucasi.
Geographical range. Indo-Australian tropics to Solomons.
Habitat preference. Like T. clotho this is also a common, predominantly
lowland species, and was also taken in large numbers at the same
regenerating alluvial forest site during the Mulu survey.
Biology. The larvae were described by Bell & Scott (1937) and Dupont
& Roepke (1941); Moulds (1981) illustrated the typical race from
Australasia. Once again there are green and brown forms. Oblique lateral
bands are stronger in the brown form. There are pale yellow dorsolateral
lines on the abdominal segments in the green form; these are dark brown in
the brown form. In both forms there is a dark dorsal line over the thorax.
The ocellar mark on A1 is very large, wider than long, centred with black
and, posteriorly, red with a yellow lunule in the latter, ringed blue and
black narrowly, or with yellow, more strongly on the posterior margin.
There are white ocellar spots on A2, sometimes smaller dots on more
posterior segments. The A1 ocelli are enfolded in skin and only
conspicuous when the thoracic segments are retracted on disturbance.
The brown forms vary from greyish to reddish brown.
Host-plants recorded (Bell & Scott, 1937; Dupont & Roepke, 1941;
Pholboon, 1965; Moulds, 1981; Barlow, 1982) are: Saurauia (Actinidiaceae);
Impatiens (Balsaminaceae); Begonia (Begoniaceae); Tetracera
Leea (Leeaceae); Lagerstroemia (Lythraceae); Fuchsia
Cayratia, Cissus, Parthenocissus, Tetrastigma, Vitis (Vitidaceae).
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