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Asota caricae Fabricius
Noctua caricae
Fabricius, 1775, Syst. Ent. : 596.
Phalaena alciphron Cramer, 1777, Uitl. Kapellen 2: 58.
Asota caricae Fabricius; Holloway, 1976: 5; Barlow, 1982: 76.

Asota caricae

This and the next species have similar buff forewings and black-spotted yellow hindwings. In the next species the forewings are darker buff, apically produced in the male, with a more irregular white discal spot, the anal vein picked out with white and white edging to the costa and tornal margin. The black spots at the hindwing margin are much larger, almost confluent.

Geographical range. Indo-Australian tropics to Queensland and Vanuatu.

Habitat preference. This species has only been taken in the lowlands, both in forest and agricultural areas.

Biology. The larva in Java was illustrated by Horsfield & Moore (1858-9) as blackish with a pale red venter and prothorax. Dorsally there is a narrow central black stripe flanked by broad yellow ones in which on each segment and each stripe there are two black spots arranged longitudinally. Pupation is in a slight cocoon, fixed to a leaf. The host-plant was Ficus (Moraceae).

Bell described the southern Indian larva. The dorsal bands are white and there is an undulant subspiracular white band. The eggs are laid in batches and the larvae are gregarious when young. Pupation is in the soil just below the surface in a weak cocoon. The host was also a species of Ficus.

Additional hosts are Broussonetia (Moraceae), Mesua (Guttiferae), Tectona (Verbenaceae) (Mathur et al, 1958) and Shorea (Dipterocarpaceae) (Browne, 1968).

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