Type species: nugatrix Guenée.
Synonyms: Bombotelia Hampson; Tamseale Nye (replacement
name for Eleale Walker, a junior homonym) syn. n. (type species is plusioides
Walker); Tibiocillaria Bethune-Baker syn. n.
The forewings have a margin with an obtuse central angle and are
distinctively patterned in purplish red with strongly angled fasciae in most
species; the submarginal is subapically prominent as a fine white line. The
hindwings are basally white with a broad border of a slightly duller shade of
the forewing colour.
The male antennae are bipectinate over the basal half to two-thirds,
those of the female filiform in the nugatrix Guenée group (see
below) but almost as bipectinate as in the male in plusioides, maculata and
the two species previously placed in Tibiocillaria; they are less
markedly bipectinate in females of dorsipuncta Hampson and lineatrix Walker
(S. India, Sri Lanka).
The male eighth abdominal segment has a pair of coremata arising basally
from the sternite; the tergite basally bears two anterior processes and
distally has two small, lateral, setose, membraneous lobes (Fig. 25). In
the genitalia the valves are simple and the saccus very broad, relatively short;
the valves bear an ampullate harpe and are relatively expanded at the apex in
the simplex group, and somewhat so in jocosatrix; in other species
the valves are of even width.
The uncus is narrow with a terminal spine in maculata and the
sister-pair of species included in Tibiocillaria, dinawa Bethune-Baker
(New Guinea) and magnifica Robinson (Fiji), both here placed in Penicillaria
combs. n. In plusioides Walker and dorsipuncta Hampson it
tapers to a point from a relatively broad base. In P. lineatrix Walker
the uncus has a bifid apical portion, each part bearing serried ranks of
cylindrical setae as illustrated for the Australasian Pataeta carbo Guenée
by Holloway (1979, fig. 107:1); the sharing of this unusual character suggests
that carbo may be a divergent member of the Penicillaria group.
The generic type species P. nugatrix Guenée, P. jocosatrix and
the P. simplex group all have a short, broad, setose uncus with a blunt
apex, unusual in the subfamily and probably serving to define the species as a nugatrix
group within which simplex and allies form a subgroup. The simplex
subgroup is most diverse in the Papuan Subregion, apart from the widespread
species simplex and meeki Bethune-Baker. Other species included
are: dinawa Bethune-Baker, dinawaensis Bethune-Baker, nigriplaga
Warren (all New Guinea); auriplaga Bethune-Baker + rothschildi Warren
(possibly conspecific; New Guinea and Sulawesi).
The aedeagus vesica is globular in most species except jocosatrix where
there are several narrow lobes (Holloway 1979: fig. 197), and the anellus is
finely and densely setose. The vesica bears between one and a dozen substantial
The female bursa copulatrix is unadorned.
The genus Zobia Saalmuller (type species snelleni Saalmuller;
Madagascar, Africa) has features of facies and male genitalia that suggest
affinities with Penicillaria.
P. plusioides has a close ally, regalis Prout, described
from Amboina (S. Moluccas) which must also be transferred to Penicillaria, comb.
The Australian taxon plumbea Walker was incorrectly assigned to Penicillaria
(under its synonym Bombotelia) by Gaede (1937) and has characters of
the male antennae and genitalia that indicate it should be transferred to Targalla
Walker (q.v.), comb. n.
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