Formation of Pattern and Diagnostic Instar Features of the Head in Caterpillars from Genus Peridea (Lepidoptera, Notodontidae)
Pattern and colouration of caterpillar head of all larval instar of 7 species from genus Peridea Stephens, 1828 are studied. Formation of caterpillar head pattern in ontogenesis is discussed. Diagnostic characters, both specific and larval instars, are recorded for the first time. Key to species according to larval instars is given. Evidently, only larvae of the 1st instar demonstrate different directions in the pattern formation. This characteristic can be used for clearing of taxonomic relations in the genera and on the earliest ontogenetic stages (1st larval instar) only. In the following (2nd-5th) instars, the pattern became more or less of the same type. It depends on stripes shape or colouration only and can serve as good specific diagnostic character. To determine larval instar, both width of the head capsule and head pattern should be taken into account.
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