The Episparis group of genera
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Episparis Walker

Type species: penetrata Walker, Africa.

Synonyms:
Episparina Berio (type species hieroglyphica Holland, E. Africa); Episparonia Berio (type species angulatilinea Bethune-Baker, New Guinea); Neviasca Walker (type species varialis Walker, India); Pradiota Walker (type species sejunctata Walker, Java, = exprimens Walker).

This genus was reviewed by Pelletier (1982), who treated
Episparis, Episparina and Episparonia as distinct, based on features of the male genitalia. These genera were reunited by Poole (1989), a treatment followed here. The resemblance in wing shape and, to some extent, facies to Amphigonia (p. 245) is probably convergent, as, in features of the male legs and antennae, the labial palps and the male and female abdomen, the two genera differ markedly.

The facies is characteristic, with fore- and hindwings both angled at the centre of the margin. The forewing usually has a straight line from the tornus to just subapically on the costa; the postmedial is less distinct with an irregular course basal to this and is often sharply angled subcostally. Within the marginal zone there is often a pale arcuate fascia running from the marginal angle to just subapically. The antemedial is usually also strongly angled, as is the postmedial of the hindwing, the angle usually coinciding with that of the margin. The discal and/or submarginal areas of the wings often have whitish or hyaline markings. The male antennae are bipectinate. The labial palps are erect, though the third segment is very short. The male forelegs may have scale tufts basally, and the hindtibia can have a marked basal hair pencil.

In the male abdomen, the eighth segment is unmodified apart from short, widely separated apodemes on the tergite; sometimes the anterior margin is narrowly more strongly sclerotised. In the genitalia, the uncus is usually robust, often tapering to a hook apically, though bifid in Pelletierís concept of
Episparina. The tegumen is slightly longer than the vinculum, but the latter has a saccus. Typically the valves are short, with an exterior corema at the centre, though this is weak in costistriga Walker and absent in Episparina; the robust part usually has a pair of processes on the costal margin. A number of species, including minima Pelletier and exprimens Walker in Borneo, have a spined transtilla. The juxta is broader than deep, sometimes almost separated into a pair of wing-like plates. The aedeagus is short, robust and usually has several groups of spines of various sizes in the vesica.

The female genitalia have rather broad, deep ovipositor lobes, usually with the more anterior lacunae for the setal bases at one third larger than the basal ones and becoming reduced again distally (this is not so obvious in
monochroma Hampson). The anal tube is usually conspicuously though finely scobinate. The ostium is situated between the seventh and eighth segments, the latter not strongly modified. The corpus bursae is elongate, irregular in shape, with irregular areas of scobination, sometimes forming a longitudinal, band-like signum.

The genus is diverse in the Old World tropics, particularly Africa, this diversity attenuating into Sundaland, with few species east of Sulawesi. Pelletier, as noted earlier, divided the genus into three genera, following Berio (1964). The first two occur throughout the Old World tropics and the third
Episparonia, is restricted to New Guinea. Three of the Bornean species are referred to Episparis but monochroma Hampson is placed in Episparina.

Gardner (1941, 1948a) included species of this genus in his grouping C where the prolegs are not reduced or barely so (though Bell (MS) noted reduction in liturata Fabricius). He studied E. liturata Fabricius and E. tortuosalis Moore, and noted differences that suggested that they might not be congeneric; they are placed in different genera by Pelletier. Both have a granulate head, but differ slightly in chaetotaxy and ocellus positions. The mandible in tortuosalis is distinguished by a strong internal armature. The setae are long and bristly in tortuosalis, many set on black dots or chalazae; in liturata they are short, and development of chalazae is weak. Gardner and Bell (MS) described the larva of liturata as pale green, marked with pink or purplish patches, white dots and a dorsolateral white line.

The host plants also differ, with
liturata feeding on Rubiaceae (Adina, Mitragyna), like costistriga Walker, and Sapindaceae (Schleichera), and with tortuosalis on Meliaceae and Magnoliaceae (Robinson et al., 2001; see also below).

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