This is the second tribe recognised by Ferguson (1978), and is
characterised most reliably by the presence of prominent dorsal brushes on
abdominal segments 1-4, and usually a longer, slender one on A8. There are also
usually lateral hair pencils directed forwards on each side of the head.
In the adult an areole is usually present in the forewing venation. The
forewing facies is usually cryptic, with a strong reniform stigma in the
discocellular position. This is entire, complex, slightly flexed, and usually
more oblique than the V-mark in Lymantriini. There is no orbicular stigma.
The male genitalia sometimes have structures that may represent the
gnathus. The uncus is variable in development. The valves are usually divided in
some manner, sometimes with a costal lobe or arm, sometimes more equally
divided, sometimes just apically bifid.
In the female genitalia, the signum is usually of the bicornute type. Calliteara
Butler is exceptional in having a scobinate band.
The tribe includes the diverse complex of taxa that has, in the past,
been placed in Dasychira Hübner. This name, as indicated by Ferguson
(1978), should be restricted to a group of N. American taxa that can be defined
on several features of the male genitalia: a tongue-like uncus; a short, broad
costal lobe to the valve; a globular and generally scobinate aedeagus vesica.
The search for more satisfactory generic placements for the Old World taxa is
still in progress. Riotte (1979) made a start with some of the Indo-Australian
taxa, followed by Holloway (1982a, b). The African members of the complex have
been reviewed in a series of papers by Dall’Asta (1981a, b, 1982, 1983). An
attempt is made here to place many of the remaining Indo-Australian taxa.
redefined by Riotte (1979) on the helmet-like uncus and gnathus, is probably
more restricted to the Australasian tropics than Riotte considered, because most
of the non-Australasian species he transferred to the genus are best placed
elsewhere (see below). The New Caledonian taxon sarramea Holloway should
formally be transferred to Teia, comb. n. as indicated by Holloway
The genus Psalis Hübner, with African and Indo-Australian
species with grass-feeding larvae and facies typical of this habit, have male
genitalia close to those of the Olene Hübner and Teia group. “Aroa”
cometaris Butler from the Bismarcks and Solomons is another member of this
group, but does not fall readily into any of the genera treated below.
Female aptery occurs in a number of lineages and so cannot be taken to
be definitive for Orgyia Ochsenheimer, in the region, though valid in N.
America (Ferguson, 1978).
<<Return to Contents page