Type species: conchifera Butler (= wallichii Gray).
Synonyms: Brahmophthalma Mell (type species wallichii Gray); Brahmidia Bryk
(type species hearseyi White); Brahmaeops Bryk (type species japonica Butler).
B. japonica has been regarded as a subspecies of wallichii (Fletcher & Nye,
1982), and hearseyi and celebica Toxopeus are probably sister group to
The genus has the family characteristics mentioned in the introduction. The
African Dactyloceras Mell has the subbasal series of fasciae with a sharp costal
angle rather than transverse, and the anterior of the medial zone is much
expanded and contains irregular pale markings. The Chinese Calliprogonos has
uniformly pale brown wings except for broad cream-coloured margins on both wings
and a dark, distally convex, basal patch to the forewing.
The more strictly Palaearctic species of Brahmaea have the medial zone of the
forewing narrow throughout, dark, somewhat fractured into ellipses and unmarked
in contrast to the pale, speckled, anteriorly expanded medial zone of the
wallichii group. They probably represent a separate section of the genus (W.
Nassig pers. comm.).
All except the Italian A. europaea Hartig have a striking dichotomous
arrangement of the four most posterior radial veins branching from Rs (rather
than arising sequentially from it); this is a potential synapomorphy for uniting
all Brahmaea species excluding europaea, which is placed by recent authors in
Acanthobrahmaea Sauter (Gardiner, 1982).
The male genitalia are described in the introduction to the family.
The larva is generally as described for hearseyi below. That of japonica is
illustrated by Mutuura et al. (1965): it is pale creamy white with transverse
yellow and black stripes on the thorax, yellow and bluish black etching and
spots in a
lateral zone through the spiracles and in the zone of the prolegs: ventrally it
is orange. The larva of A. europaea is illustrated by Carter & Hargreaves
(1986): it has a yellow venter and patches on the thorax and central zone, but
is otherwise black with white stripes and speckles.
<<Return to Contents page