FAMILY EPIPYROPIDAE

The Epipyropidae are a small family of which the species are probably all ectoparasitic on Homoptera. Indeed, the family at present appears best defined by this unusual biology. The world fauna (and host range) was reviewed by Krampl & Dlabola (1983), a total of 32 described species. Most regions of the world support species but the family is perhaps best known from the Indian Subregion and Australia.

The family is suggested to be related to the Neotropical Dalceridae in Krampl & Dlabola, though Brock (1971) placed the Epipyropidae in the Tineoidea and the Dalceridae in the Cossoidea. Common (1970) placed both families in the Zygaenoidea.

Krampl & Dlabola did not list any species from the Sundanian area but one specimen, perhaps in the genus Epieurybrachys Kato, has been taken in Brunei by T.W. Harman. It is illustrated below . Further specimens are known from Sulawesi; they key out to Epiricania Kato in the only published key, relying entirely on wing venation (Kato 1940).


Epipyropidae

Adult characteristics
The antennae are bipectinate in both sexes; ocelli, chaetosemata, maxillary palps and haustellum are all absent (Common 1970). The forewing veins in all genera except Agamopsyche Perkins arise directly from the cell. The family has been divided into two subfamilies on the basis of presence or absence of vein R3 in the forewing (Kato 1940), an unsatisfactory system as one of the character states must be plesiomorphic. Krampl & Dlabola surveyed the male genitalia of some of the taxa and indicated that there was some uniformity of basic construction within the family.

Early stages
The eggs are disc.like (Common 1970). Kato (1940) described the larva of the Japanese Epiricania hagoromo Kato. In the full-grown larva the head is extremely small and retractile. The upper surface and margin of the ovate, flattened body is covered with a waxy secretion that is shed between the formation of a silken pad and the resumption of spinning the complete cocoon at pupation. The thoracic legs are small, with a sharp claw. The abdominal prolegs have a circlet of 16-20 minute crochets. The hooks and crochets enable the larva to cling to the flying or jumping host, onto the dorsal surface of which it has spun silken threads.

The cocoon is oblong with a convex surface dorsally and an anterior transverse rift.

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