What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Please help with the identification
Location:  India,Maharashtra State, Nagpur City
August 6, 2010 9:16 am
i came across WTB & found it to be very helpful.recently clicked the picture of a Moth in the garden of my house.have consulted a few people about the identity of lovely insect but could’nt get a confirmed id.
can you please help me with the same.
Abhishek Sagar (India)

Tiger Moth from India

Dear Abhishek,
Before doing any research, we can tell you that this is some species of Tiger Moth in the subfamily Arctiinae.  We will continue to research a species name and we have requested assistance from an expert in the subfamily, Julian Donahue.

Julian Donahue corrects the family
Actually, I DO recognize it!
I can’t give you a definitive name until late next week, after my next visit to the Museum–I have to check my Indian moth references there.
For now, however, I can tell you that this moth has been a most interesting one to study. It doesn’t key out to Arctiidae, and is not included in older works on arctiids because it belongs to a group formerly known as the Hypsidae, and Afro-Asian-Australian group of moths.
Currently, the moth is placed in the subfamily Aganainae of the Noctuidae (not an arctiid at all). The moth is usually placed in the genus Aganais, but the Natural History Museum (London) names list says that Aganais is a junior synonym of Asota (previously recognized as a separate genus).
Online I found references to an african species, Aganais speciosa, which was given the common name “Specious Tiger Moth,” an incorrect translation, because “speciosa” means “beautiful,” not “specious”!
Seems like a few dozen species (at least) have been described in the genus, so it might help to know just what part of India the moth came from.
I’ll let you know later next week what I come up with for a better name.
Julian P. Donahue

BTW, I forgot to mention that the larvae feed on Ficus, presumably making the larva and subsequent moth distasteful to predators.
Julian P. Donahue

Additional Update from Julian Donahue
August 12, 2010
I checked the literature at the Museum today.
The moth in question appears in most of the older literature (and perhaps current online resources) as Aganais ficus (Noctuidae: Aganainae). According to the Natural History Museum (London), the correct current name should be Asota ficus. Appropriately named, as the larva feeds on Ficus.
The moth occurs throughout India and Sri Lanka. It is distinctive in the Indian fauna: any other species of Asota in India will lack the black and white bars at the base of the forewing leading edge.
Julian P. Donahue

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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