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Eumelea ludovicata Guenée
Eumelea ludovicata Guenée, 1857, Hist. nat. Insectes, Spec. gen. Lep., 9: 393.
Eumelea aureliata Guenée, 1857, Ibid. 9: 394.
Eumelea ludovicata Guenée; Prout, 1921, Gross-Schmett. Erde, 12: 31, and 1931, Novit. zool.,
37: 3, described numerous subspecies.

Eumelea ludovicata

Eumelea ludovicata

See the previous species. E. ludovicata differs from E. rubrifusa Warren most strongly in the male. In E. rubrifusa males the wings are generally a darker, less orange red with the yellow restricted to two spots postmedially on each wing, more clearly, less diffusely defined than in ludovicata, and with the anterior spot of the forewing elongated at right angles to the costa. The females are much more similar, but the dark markings tend to be suffused with a more vivid pink in rubrifusa. The postmedial patch on the hindwing costa tends to be closer to the submarginal in rubrifusa. In the male genitalia the uncus of ludovicata is twice as broad above the cross as below it, the arms of the cross moderate, only slightly expanded, the socii very small: the aedeagus vesica is slender with similarly slender lyre-like scobinate zones, the spines of which become more densely packed basad. In rubrifusa the apical part of the uncus is dorsoventrally bifid, the arms of the cross digitate, not expanded, and the socii are vestigial; the aedeagus vesica is broader, and the bands of scobination of the lyre have a transverse array of stouter spines at their distal extremity.

Geographical range. Indo-Australian tropics east to Solomons, Guam.

Habitat preference. Old material is from G. Kinabalu and G. Marapok. None has been taken in recent surveys.

Biology. The life history was described by Bell (MS). The head is round, yellowish, white with light rusty markings with hairs very short, erect, thick . The body is cylindrical, slender, the surface dull, smooth, the setae minute, set on tiny conical tubercles. The colour is yellowish white, almost obscured by numerous longitudinal lines, wavy, coalescent; these lines are only weakly expressed on the ground colour dorsally on the thorax. A similar patch occurs on A3. The spiracles are surrounded by greenish, most prominent on the more posterior abdominal segments.

The pupa is elongate, the cremaster semi-elliptical, flattened, down- curved, the semicircular distal end divided into four broad teeth, each terminating in a stout suspensory shaft. The case for the proboscis and antennae extends free beyond the ends of the wings to the end of the cremaster.

The larva lives on the upperside of the leaves of the host plant, resting straight at 60 degrees to the surface, resembling a piece of stick that has pierced the leaf. It eats from the margin of the leaf. Pupation is between two leaves fastened together to produce a roomy oval cell coated lightly inside with silk. The host-plant is Macaranga (Euphorbiaceae).

The moth has a fluttering, erratic flight in thick underwood of the forest, and is often disturbed by day. It always keeps close to the ground and rests on the undersides of leaves.

Swezey (1946) recorded the life history of a Eumelea on Guam that he attributed to rosalia Stoll. Material from Guam in the BMNH is referable to ludovicata. The host plant was also Macaranga.

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