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Sphrageidus Maes

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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