Banisia myrtaea Drury, 1773;  Plate 7


W. Malaysia, GTE. The male holotype of Phalaena [= Noctua] myrtaea (Drury, 1773:4) from India (Madras), is now lost, probably destroyed. Comb. n. to Banisia (Whalley, 1976:167-168, fig’d). Syn. Durdara fenestrata Moore, 1883c: 27, pl.6 fig. 6 nec Walker [1863] 1864:78. The male holotype from India (Bombay) is in the NHM, genitalia slide #8373.


30mm. A rich red-brown medium sized species with the thyridid reticulation picked out with a pale greyish black. The FW fringe is black but the HW fringe is white. The only distinctive pattern is a patch of three pale fenestrae in the middle of the FW, although there is often a faint darker patch submedially on the front of the HW. A bilateral ab. from GTE in the HSB Coll. has one wing with the two larger fenestrae conjoined.

Distribution & Habitat

Madras, Tamil Nadu, W. Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji. Its disjunct distribution needs reassessment, as do the genitalia of the female. Lowland forest & hill forest & disturbed areas; <600m.

Life History & Pest Status

It damages leaves of Manilkara zapota, Madhuca latifolia & Palaquium gutta (Sapotaceae) (HOSTS [Accessed Nov. 2008]).

Similar spp.

It is not possible to distinguish this species from B. fenestrifera on external markings, but the male genitalia are distinct (Whalley 1976;167). Similar also to B. cyclothyris (Hampson, 1914).