INTRODUCTION

The Notodontidae are a family that has proved very popular with amateur entomologists over the past two centuries. The species are mostly moderate to large in size with biologically cryptic but aesthetically pleasing wing patterns. The wings, especially the forewings, are usually long and relatively narrow, as is the abdomen. The wing scaling is often coarse and the patterning never very crisply defined; the body and legs are usually clothed densely with longer scales giving the whole insect a rather shaggy appearance.

In collections specimens are prone to become greasy, suggesting a high fat content in the adult moth. In this they resemble the Cossidae and, to a lesser extent, the Lymantriidae.

The larvae are often highly modified into bizarre shapes, again primarily cryptic, but often with additional aggressive defences such as protrusible lashes on modified anal claspers.

There are 122 species known at present from Borneo, a fauna not as rich as that of Sumatra or the north-eastern reaches of the Himalayan ranges in Sikkim and Assam, but over twice as rich as that of Australia (about 50 species listed by Kiriakoff (1968)) and richer than that of Japan (about 105 species listed by Inoue (1956)). New Guinea has a fauna of about 100 species (Kiriakoff 1968) but a major portion of these are drawn from the predominantly endemic genera Omichlis Hampson and Cascera Walker, as well as from the largely montane genus Quadricalcarifera Strand. The Bornean species are here assigned to 65 genera. There are 16 endemic species.

The majority of species are virtually restricted to the lowlands but 22 range from the lowlands to about 2000 m and 29 are probably exclusively montane.

Twenty five new taxa, mostly species, are described. Past taxonomic work on the Oriental Notodontidae has often been rather superficial or careless so a considerable amount of revisional work involving synonymy and new combinations has had to be undertaken to try and introduce some stability into the nomenclature. A very high proportion of the type specimens involved are found in the British Museum (Natural History) and others have been studied on loan from the various Institutions listed in the Acknowledgements.

The taxonomic work involved the preparation of almost 300 slides of male, and sometimes female, genitalia. The male genitalia of all Bornean species are illustrated either here or by Holloway (1976, 1982).

Information on life histories and host-plants is very sparse for the Indo-Australian tropics and an attempt has been made here to collate what is available. Nevertheless, some interesting, possibly coevolutionary relationships between host plants and genera or groups of genera are already evident.


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