species: melicerta Drury (= janata Linnaeus),
genus is diverse in the Old World tropics, with segregation into African
Indo-Australian to Pacific subgroups, though with some overlap between the two.
It has been reviewed for Africa by Berio (1965a) and for the Indo-Australian
tropics by Edwards (1978), Holloway (1982, 1984b) and Holloway & Miller
(2003). It is the first in a complex of genera studied by Holloway & Miller,
referred to earlier here as the Achaea
A particular shared feature is the development of a trapezoidal or triangular
area bounded and defined on the costa subapically by the anterior sections of
the postmedial and submarginal fasciae and a line along vein M1. An additional
feature found widely in the complex is a modification of the male eighth
sternite. This becomes narrower, slightly bilobed anteriorly and posteriorly,
with the anterior corners produced and outcurved. However, this feature is not
evident in Parallelia Hübner sensu stricto,
The complex as a whole shows a high incidence of larval feeding on Euphorbiaceae,
otherwise uncommon within the Ophiusini, indeed amongst the fruit-feeding genera
of the Catocalinae generally. All known pupae have a powdery bloom.
forewing facies of Achaea
relatively uniform compared with other genera in the complex, and the fasciation
is strongly crenate or wavy in most species. The hindwings are a dull dark
brown, usually with a diffuse white medial band and two or three white patches
on the margin. The male genitalia have a prominent superuncus. The tegumen is
unmodified. The valves bear single coremata and have well separated costal and
saccular processes, the former trifid, usually showing bilateral asymmetry, and
the latter slender, rodlike, flexed upwards at the base. The aedeagus and vesica
are of a similar shape to those of Ophiusa and
the aedeagus basally broadening to a falcate, dorsally directed spur.
female genitalia have a moderate, bilobed plate to the lamella antevaginalis, a
relatively long ductus, and a variably shaped corpus bursae.
larvae are described below for the two commoner Bornean species.
Indo-Australian representation of the genus was reviewed by Holloway (1982),
building on a review of the Australian fauna by Edwards (1978). A tentative
phylogeny was presented by Holloway (1984b).
larva in Indo-Australian species at least has the prolegs on A3 and, to a lesser
extent, A4 reduced, and there are dorsolateral tubercles on a transverse ridge
on A8. The pupa has a powdery bloom.
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