This subfamily consists of robust, rather noctuid-like moths with
relatively narrow forewings. The forewing pattern is also reminiscent of that of
noctuids with, in some species, stigmata that resemble the noctuid reniform and
orbicular. Unlike other drepanids and a high proportion of geometroids, the
hindwing is only weakly patterned, if at all, and generally paler than the
forewing. There is usually a distinctive wing-thorax coupling mechanism where
aculeate patches on either side of the thoracic metascutum interact with similar
patches beneath the forewing (Scoble & Edwards, 1988).
The tympanal organs are typically drepanoid (Scoble & Edwards, 1988; Scoble, 1992 and references therein), and the well-developed frenulum is
sometimes clubbed apically. The male antennae are usually filiform, slightly
lamellate. The wings have drepanoid venation, the forewing usually with an
areole, the hindwing with Sc+R1 converging with Rs briefly just beyond the cell.
The male genitalia are characterised by a strong pair of socii flanking
the uncus. The valves are usually simple, sometimes with angular projections
from the ventral margin. The aedeagus has a characteristic curved spine-like
process (Haken, or hook, of Werny (1966)) at its apex, and the ductus
ejaculatorius is inserted significantly more distally than in other drepanoids,
often beyond the midpoint of the aedeagus tube. The gnathus is absent.
The female typically has a longitudinal band-like signum with outwardly
directed spines in the basal part of the ovate bursa, often with one or two
small satellite signa (illustrations in Werny (1966)).
The larva has anal prolegs developed. There are secondary setae in some
species, and the body segments sometimes bear tubercles and forked
protruberances (Scoble, 1992).
The subfamily is most diverse in the Asian subtropics and through the
Palaearctic, though with the greatest diversity occurring in the eastern part,
particularly China and the eastern Himalayan ranges (Werny, 1966). Some genera
extend into the New World. There is weak representation in Africa (Watson, 1965;
Lane, 1973). A few genera, mostly montane, extend into Sundaland and
Wallacea, with outlying species and the genus Habrona Bethune-Baker in
the mountains of New Guinea (Holloway, 1986b).
The unusual Australian genus Hypsidia Rothschild was recognised
as drepanoid by Scoble & Edwards (1988), who reviewed the species. They were
reluctant to associate the genus with the Thyatirinae, being unconvinced of the
homology of the pair of arms articulated between the uncus and tegumen with the
thyatirine socii, or the presence in Hypsidia of weak aculeate patches on
the thoracic metascutum and clubbing of the frenulum. Ocelli are present in one
species group. The ductus bursae is unusually spiralled, a feature probably
unique within the drepanoid/geometroid complex. There is a single signum in the
ovate bursa in a similar position to that of thyatirines, but rounded, with
general scobination. However, several further features may indicate the genus is
thyatirine: presence of a hook on the aedeagus apex; a relatively distal
insertion of the ductus ejaculatorius; ornamentation of the ventral margin of
the valve; robust, noctuidlike build and forewing shape; reduced marking of the
The thyatirine fauna of Sumatra, with eight species in six genera (Kobes,
1985), is more diverse than that of Borneo. All Bornean species occur there. In
addition there is a second Tethea Ochsenheimer, T. consimilis congener
Roepke (= diehli Werny), Takapsestis sumatrensis Gaede, Habrosyne
obscura Roepke and Habrosyne sumatrana Werny. Neogaurena
grisescens Roepke (Java) is a synonym of T sumatrensis Gaede, Neogaurena
therefore becoming a synonym of Takapsestis Matsumura, syns. n..
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