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Pasiphila Meyrick

Type species: bilineolata Walker, New Zealand.

Synonyms: Calliclystis Dietze (type species debiliata Hübner, Europe) syn. n.; Cithecia Staudinger (type species macrocheila Staudinger = excisa Butler, Siberia) syn. n.; Gymnodisca Warren (type species rubrifusa Warren) syn. n.; Helastiodes Warren (type species bilineolata Walker); Rhinoprora Warren (type species palpata Walker) syn. n.

Dugdale (1971, 1988) applied Pasiphila to a group of New Zealand species segregated from the old, broad concept of Chloroclystis: the principal character noted was the occurrence of fasciculate antennae in the male. Mironov (1990) transferred a number of Palaearctic species out of Chloroclystis sensu lato into Rhinoprora, though Gymnodisca Warren has page priority and is based on a Bornean species very similar in genitalic features to the type species of Rhinoprora, also Bornean. Mironov did not consider Gymnodisca as congeneric with Rhinoprora so the 'first reviser' principle does not apply and the priority stands.

The principal question is whether Pasiphila and Gymnodisca/Rhinoprora are congeneric. There are a number of features, mostly of the male genitalia, that support this. Dugdale (1971) compared the New Zealand species with the Palaearctic rectangulata Linnaeus, then considered to be the type species of Chloroclystis. The features he noted as differing in male and female genitalia need to be considered within the context both of Gymnodisca/Rhinoprora and with relation to the general disintegration of Chloroclystis sensu lato. Apart from the male antennae, he noted features of the anellus and size of the vesica in the male and the insertion of the ductus seminalis in the female. Additional features that appear to be informative are also in the male: the condition of the octavals on the eighth sternite; the shape and setation of the valves, particularly that of the sacculus; the cornuti in the vesica. The condition of the signum of the female should also show some uniformity, as this feature is used to distinguish several other eupitheciine genera.

The male antennae in Gymnodisca/Rhinoprora are filiform, smooth, not strongly fasciculate as in Pasiphila. The ductus seminalis opens into the bursa in both groups, rather than between the colliculum and ostium in the ductus. The aedeagus vesica usually has two or more cornuti in both. Other common features include: well-separated octavals, usually curved over the apical part and separate apically from the main sternal sclerite; spined dorsal and ventral manica pads on the anellus, the spines usually rather fine, not markedly dissimilar in size in the New Zealand group, but tending to have a pair of considerably more robust ones in the dorsal array in the other group, including Palaearctic species such as rectangulata.

The valve structure is remarkably uniform, and provides a good additional feature to define a broader concept for Pasiphila that includes the northern hemisphere taxa. The shape is tongue-like, apically rounded, the sides more or less parallel except for a slight bulge at the base of the ventral margin, where the sacculus bears a group of prominent setal bases that give rise to very long, hair-like setae. From this there extends up the ventral margin a zone covering one quarter of the valve width where there is fine horizontal pleating and sparse, irregularly placed setae. Dorsal to this is a zone of much finer setae, densely packed and all running neatly parallel towards the valve costa and extending slightly beyond it. There are no obvious coremata or structures on the sternal membrane between the genitalia and the eighth segment, but in Bornean species at least, there is a deciduous brush of long scales longer than the valve arising at its basal margin exteriorly on the intersegmental membrane. This is present but weak in New Zealand species, and particularly well developed in P. eurystalides Prout comb. n.

The signum is usually a patch of scobination or absent: in the New Zealand group the scobination is sometimes coarse on a small sclerotised plate, with fields of lighter spines more distally.

The genus can probably be divided into a number of subgenera, the New Zealand Pasiphila group with fasciculate male antennae being one. Palaearctic and Oriental tropical species are referable to subgenus Gymnodisca (= Rhinoprora), defined by presence of two enlarged, hornlike spines on the dorsal manica and by variably elongated labial palps. A number of other species may be referable to Pasiphila as defined here, but do not fall readily into either of these subgenera, such as P. testulata Guenée comb. n. (Australia, Norfolk I., New Zealand, Chatham Is., Kermadec Is.), the related P. nina Robinson comb. n. (Fiji) and perhaps further Australian and New Zealand species attributed to Chloroclystis by Dugdale (1988) and Nielsen, Edwards & Rangsi (1996).

Prout (1932c) noted differences in the forewing venation amongst montane Oriental taxa that he used to distinguish Gymnodisca and Rhinoprora as subgenera of Chloroclystis, and discal lacunae in the forewings of male Gymnodisca were noted in the original description of that genus. These may offer means of recognising groupings within subgenus Gymnodisca or are autapomorphic for individual taxa. The elongation of the labial palps is also variable.

There are nine species in Borneo, five endemic, all montane with strong representation in the two highest zones of G. Kinabalu. The specimens referred to Chloroclystis viridescens Warren by Prout (1932c) have not been located and the species has not been recorded during the intensive montane sampling of recent surveys: presence of this species in Borneo needs confirmation, though it is also referable to Pasiphila [Gymnodisca] comb. n.

Other Indo-Australian species referable to subgenus Gymnodisca include: P. regularis Prout comb. n. (Peninsular Malaysia); P. automola Prout comb. n. (Seram); P. diaboeta Prout comb. n. (Seram); P. diaschista Prout comb. n. (New Guinea); P. hypodela Prout comb. n. (New Guinea); P. isophrica Prout comb. n. (New Guinea).

The larvae of European species feed on the flowers of shrubs in Rosaceae (rectangulata) and Encaceae (possibly the majority) in Britain and Japan, where Theaceae are also involved (Allan, 1949; Sugi, 1987). There is a record (IIE, unpublished) of viridescens feeding on Rhododendron (Ericaceae) in New Guinea.

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