The Serrodes Guenée group
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Avatha Walker

Type species: includens Walker (= discolor Fabricius), India. 

Pseudathyrma Butler (type species complens Walker, Sumatra); Pterochaeta Holland (type species dohertyi Holland, Moluccas = stigmata Moore).

This genus includes Indo-Australian species of the old but inappropriate concept of Athyrma Hübner (type species adjutrix Cramer, Surinam), a genus essentially restricted to S. America and not related to the species discussed here.

Generic concepts were reviewed by Roepke (1941) who retained usage of Athyrma for most species and applied Pseudathyrma to species with androconia on the male hindwing, though Athyrma javanica Roepke (Java) shares bipectinate antennae and androconia with this group and probably belongs to the heterographa Hampson complex (see below). Roepke also described the genus Athyrmella containing a single species from Java, priangani Roepke, that has bipectinate antennae in the male and may prove to be a further section of Avatha.

Poole (1989) placed Pseudathyrma in synonymy with Avatha but still retained many Indo-Australian species within Athyrma. He listed under Avatha a Bornean species, A. modesta Roepke, originally described in Hypaetra Guenée from a single female. This proves to be a synonym of Dordura aliena Walker, syn. n., which is treated on p. 151.

This concept of
Avatha is followed here, but with assignation of many more of the Indo-Australian taxa to it. Kobes (1985) separated Avatha from Pseudathyrma on grounds of the pronounced ball-and-claw apex to the uncus in the latter, but the combined concept adopted here can be defined on the presence of a prominent process at the apex of the sacculus as well as general facies characters as discussed below. The genus requires further revision and formal assignation of component species, but is essentially Indo-Australian in distribution, though a small number of African taxa listed by Poole (1989) needs assessment.

The species are generally smaller than in
Serrodes, with a more complex array of black markings on the forewing, subbasal rather than basal, and, when they occur more distally, hieroglyph-like in the region of the darker triangle associated with the reniform in Serrodes. The postmedial is generally obscure, irregular. On the hindwing underside there is usually a paler discal spot, and the darker postmedial is often unevenly emphasised, generally as two or three broader, more prominent spots. The male antennae range from ciliate to bipectinate, and the legs usually have scale-tufts.

The male eighth segment is only slightly modified. The genitalia have a ball-and-claw apex to the uncus in most species. The juxta is of the inverted ‘V’ or ‘Y’ type. The valves are slightly spatulate, usually with a prominent spine at the apex of the sacculus. One species group has a more distal, slender spine centrally nearer the valve apex. There may be an angle on the valve costa. The aedeagus vesica is slightly less complex than in
Serrodes, the diverticula more slender, with spining more localised but more prominent, with larger more dispersed spines, when it occurs.

In the female the ostium, often conical, is associated with the anterior of the eighth segment, though the seventh sternite is vestigial or not clearly defined between the expanded margins of the tergite. The structure distal to the ostium is of two forms. In some species (e.g.
pulcherrima Butler group, uloptera Prout) the narrow ductus consists of a basal sclerotised section with some lateral scrolling, and a distal section, usually longer, that is unsclerotised but may contain scobination; the ductus seminalis arises near the base of the distal section. The corpus bursae is ovate to pyriform in this first group and has a scobinate signum. The distal section of the ductus in this first group may be more strictly a narrow neck to the bursa because, in the second group of species (e.g. complens, discolor, stigmata, tepescens Walker and relatives), the sclerotised section extends to the base of a more elongate bursa, and the ductus seminalis arises basally within this amid more general scobination.

As for
Serrodes, larval host plant records are predominantly from the Sapindaceae (Robinson et al., 2001; see also below).

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