View Image Gallery of Subfamily Epipleminae

Dysaethria Turner

Type species: pasteopa Turner, Queensland.

This genus represents the concept of Epiplema Herrich-Schäffer used by Janse (1932), and includes numerous Bornean species previously referred to Epiplema. Epiplema itself (= Chaetopyga Warren, based on an undoubtedly mislabelled 'Australian' specimen (Nielsen, Edwards & Rangsi, 1996)) is based on a robust Neotropical species, acutangularia Herrich-Schäffer, with the male abdomen distally corematous and genitalia more as in the Pterotosoma / Oroplema group of species Pterotosoma Warren and Oroplema Gen.n.. Boudinot (1982) included a number of Madagascan species in his concept of Epiplema that are probably referable to Dysaethria, but also several species, listed first, with genitalia more as in the Pterotosoma/Oroplema group.

The hindwing is two-tailed, with the most extreme form of sharply angled fasciation that, in most species, looks as though, if 'freshly painted' a brush has been drawn longitudinally through the angle whilst the paint is still wet! Vein M2 is present, but there is only one anal vein.

The male antennae are usually uniserrate, lamellate, though they are bipectinate in the subalbata Guenée group and in columba Holloway.

The modification of the uncus in the male genitalia into an inverted gutter around the anal tube, flanked by one or two pairs of lateral spurs (the more basal could be derived from the gnathus) provides the key diagnostic feature. The central process of the uncus is variable, from long, spine-like or robust (conflictaria Walker group) to vestigial or absent. The valves are distally elongate to ovate, often with a broad, flat membraneous lobe apically (e.g. Figs 238. 239 and 256) and sometimes with fans or rows of modified scales centrally. The basal part of the valves is narrower, often convolute, usually with a hair-pencil at the very base. The transtillae form a bridge between the costal bases of the two valves, very elaborate in the conflictaria group. The aedeagus vesica sometimes has scobinate patches, or a scattering or bundles of slender cornuti.

The female genitalia are diverse in form, but usually have two separated signa towards the base of the bursa, sometimes within a more general zone of sclerotisation. However, in the conflictaria group the bursa is generally spined in a manner like that of many larentiine geometrids. The ductus is always very long.

The larvae are rather short, stout, appearing rugose from the pronounced chalazae: a number are described briefly in the specific accounts following.

They have been reared from a variety of plant families, though with some indication of specialisation at the level of species-group e.g. the subalbata Guenée group on Daphniphyllaceae, the moza Butler group on Caprifoliaceae, and the conflictaria Walker group on Annonaceae. Chen (1997) noted a new species as feeding on Paulownia in the Scrophulariaceae, and D. quadricaudata Walker comb. n. is recorded from several Rubiaceae.

<<Back >>Forward <<Return to Contents page

Copyright © Southdene Sdn. Bhd. All rights reserved.