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Asura Walker

Type species: cervicalis Walker, Australia.

Synonym: Stonia Walker (type species bipars Walker, Australia).

This genus has been treated by Nielsen et al. (1996) in a much more restricted sense than in the past (e.g. Hampson, 1900), with the bulk of the old concept of the genus being assigned to Lyclene Moore. This approach is followed partially here, though the genera Adites Moore and Barsine Walker (with several synonyms that were included under Lyclene by Nielsen et al.) are also treated as distinct. These revised generic concepts also overlap to some extent with the old one (e.g. Hampson, 1900) for Miltochrista Hübner. Genus group names that were treated as synonyms of Asura or Miltochrista that probably also represent distinct taxa include Gurna Swinhoe (type species indica Moore, India), Sesapa Walker (type species inscripta Walker, China) and Tumicla Wallengren (type species sagenaria Wallengren, South Africa).

Asura should now be restricted to an Australian group of moderate-sized species with forewings boldly banded in black and yellow. There are also genitalic features that could help define the genus: the male has reduced to vestigial abdominal coremata, a rather sinuous costa to the valve that has a vestigial but usually recognisable central process, and a valve apex simply divided into a lobe of the lamina without a distinct costal projection, and a tapering saccular process. The saccus is often acute. The anellus may (Stonia) have a lateral pair of spine clusters as in some Barsine (see Barsine Walker Gen. rev.), but the aedeagus vesica is distinguished by clusters of moderate but slender spines on several lobes. The female genitalia have a wide ostium and elongate ductus as in Barsine.

Some or all of these features are seen in other Australian taxa with similar facies, e.g. typical Eutane Walker (see Eutane Walker), or with more Barsine-like facies such as Gymnasura Hampson (type species saginaea Turner, Queensland), so investigation of these in more detail may reveal a natural grouping. There is one Bornean species that has similar genitalic features but very different facies, and this is therefore tentatively retained in Asura.

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