FAMILY SPHINGIDAE
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Rhagastis castor Walker
Pergesa castor Walker, 1856, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln. Br. Mus., 8: 153.
Pergesa aurifera Butler, 1875, Proc. zool. Soc. Lond., 1875: 17.
Rhagastis aurifera sumatranus Clark, 1924, Proc. New Engl. zool. Club., 9: 20,
syn. n.
Rhagastis javanica Roepke, in Dupont & Roepke, 1941: 89.
syn. n.


Rhagastis castor
(.83 natural size)


Diagnosis.
This species is similar to the next but has the forewings darker, less conspicuously variegated. Abdomen and thorax are concolorous above rather than the former being distinctly paler. The pale markings on the wings below are deep reddish orange rather than ochreous yellow; the forewing postmedial runs closely parallel to the submarginal row of dots rather than well separated from it; there is no dark discal spot on the hindwing (present in albomarginatus).


Taxonomic notes. Dissection of the type of castor Walker (Java) has confirmed the suggestion of Diehl (1980) that it might be conspecific with sumatranus; aurifera Butler therefore becomes subordinated to castor at subspecific rank (stat.
n.).

Geographical range. N.E. Himalaya (ssp. aurifera); Sumatra, Java, Borneo.

Habitat preference. All material has been taken in upper montane forest, on G. Kinabalu, Bukit Retak (Brunei) and G. Api (Sarawak).

Biology. Bell & Scott (1937) described the larva of the Himalayan race. The head to A1 is pale sap green, the rest is pale yellow dorsally, grading through pale blue to pale grass green dotted and obliquely striped darker laterally. The ocelli on A1 are large, oval, pupilled dark blue in front, sap green, with white spots behind, ringed white (broadest ventrally) then green. Between the ocelli is a broad yellow area. There are no ocelli on other segments, but weakly curved longitudinal bluish lunules dorsolaterally on each. The horn is reddish purple with black tubercles.

Recorded host-plants are Amorphophallus (Araceae) and Vitis (Vitidaceae).

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