Moths of the Amazon and Andes
Dognin's Pink Bullseye
Leucanella apollinairei  DOGNIN, 1923
Superfamily - BOMBYCOIDEA
subfamily - HEMILEUCINAE
Tribe -
Leucanella apollinairei, female, Satipo, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
There are about 600 species in the subfamily Hemileucinae. In most species the forewings are some shade of brown, and are marked with a 'midrib' and small blotches that simulate spots of leaf mould. The bright rosy-pink forewings of Leucanella apollinaire are unique. The hindwings in the majority of Hemileucinae are adorned with ocelli. In some species these are small and obscure while in others such as apollinairei and Automeris io they are extremely conspicuous and undoubtedly function to warn off or scare potential predators.
There are 23 species in the genus Leucanella, all entirely neotropical in distribution.
Leucanella apollinairei is found in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
This species occurs in tropical rainforest and cloudforest habitats in the eastern Andes, at altitudes between about 200-1000m.
The eggs are glossy, whitish and spherical. They are laid in clusters of about 20-30 on stems of the foodplant Ligustrum ( Oleaceae ). The larvae of all Leucanella species are black, with rows of multi-branched stinging spines along the back and sides, each shaped like a miniature Xmas tree. These spines are bright green in most species but greyish in others. In some species there are contrasting rusty or orange spines at the head and tail. The pupa is formed within a coarse brown cocoon.
Adult behaviour

The female illustrated was attracted to mercury vapour lighting.


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