Type species: similis Fuessly, Europe.
This genus was erected by Maes (1984b) for a group of Palaearctic,
African and Madagascan species with white or yellowish forewings and a yellow
anal brush that have diagnostic characteristics in the male genitalia, discussed
under Toxoproctis. These include a ring-like juxta and a hook or reversed
spine at the apex of the aedeagus. The uncus is robust, the saccus long, and the
valves simple, slightly upcurved.
The female has the ovipositor lobes relatively short, extended ventrally
in a quadrate manner rather like the head of a manta-ray: those of Somena and
Orvasca are similar, but not those of typical Euproctis Hübner. A
bicornute signum is typically present.
The genus is probably related to Somena and Orvasca, lacking
vein M2 in the hindwing. The male genitalia indicate a closer relationship to
the latter, hence the homonymy referred to under Somena. similis is
unlikely to be reactivated unless all three genera are synonymised.
The extent of the genus in the Indo-Australian tropics has yet to be
investigated, but S. virguncula Walker comb. n. fits the diagnosis
well (apart from the absence of a signum) as suggested by Kishida (1993) and
discussed below. The male genitalia of another Indian species illustrated by
Kishida (1993: fig 224), S. xanthorrhoea Kollar comb. n.,
have the definitive features listed by Maes (1984b), though Kishida did not
consider it as a potential Sphrageidus. A note by Collenette in the BMNH
collection suggests that virguncula and xanthorrhoea may be
conspecific, but Kishida (1993) treated them as distinct. Both species have
polyphagous larvae with pest status.
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