The moth groups covered in this part of The Moths of Borneo are,
with the exception of the Castniidae, closely related to (Callidulidae),
possible sister-group to (Drepanoidea) or included in the Geometroidea.
The part therefore complements the three on Geometridae that follow in the
numerical sequence but have already been published (Holloway, 1993,
1996, 1997). The relationship of these groups to each other and to other
macrolepidopteran groups is discussed on Callidulidae,
Drepanoidea and Geometroidea.
The Castniidae could perhaps more appropriately be assigned to one of the
first two parts, covering the Cossoidea and Zygaenoidea to which they are
probably most closely related within the Apoditrysia (Minet, 1991).
However, the coverage of the Zygaenidae in Part 2 is being held in
abeyance until the comprehensive revisional work within the family by Dr
G. Tarmann (e.g. Tarmann, 1992) has progressed further. The lack of
knowledge and indeed the very scarcity of the Castniidae in the Oriental
Region has prompted their treatment in this part to alert naturalists in
South East Asia to this lacuna in the hope that fresh observations can be
made and the ecological requirements of the group revealed.
On biogeographic grounds, treatment of the Castniidae in this part enables
their distribution to be contrasted with a number of other
biogeographically interesting groups (Holloway & Hall, 1998),
particularly the Callidulidae, a family that is probably also essentially
Gondwanan but involving affinities across the Indian Ocean rather than
through Australia and Antarctica to South America.
Localised or otherwise interesting patterns are shown by a number of other
groups covered. The cyclidiine Drepanidae are restricted to the Oriental
Region, and the Auzeinae and Microniinae of the Uraniidae are only found
in the Old World tropics. The thyatirine Drepanidae are strongly centred
in the Oriental tropics and subtropics, with some of the more species-rich
genera extending into the Palaearctic and the New World (Werny, 1966) and
there are outlying genera in Africa (Watson, 1965b; Lane, 1973),
Australia (Scoble & Edwards, 1988) and New Guinea (Werny, 1966).
Within the Uraniinae there are also some potentially Gondwanan
relationships that involve host-plant specialisation within the
Host-plant specialisation is also seen in the other subfamilies of the
Uraniidae, but is less frequently encountered in the Drepanidae, though
the Cyclidiinae are only recorded from the family Alangiaceae, and there
are major drepanine sections more or less restricted to Palmae and
Rubiaceae. All records for the Callidulinae are of fern-feeding.