The genus Dysphania (with Cusuma Moore) exhibits a number
of unique features. Both males and females have a fovea at the base of the
forewing. It is situated at the base of the space between the anal vein and the
position of the lost CuP vein and is associated with a concavity to the anal vein (Fig 1). It is relatively more basal than those of Ennominae
(Holloway, 1993) and Foveabathra (Foveabathra
venusta Warren comb.n), and therefore probably not
homologous. In these other groups occurs in the male only.
The antennae of both sexes are long, narrowly bipectinate, the
pectinations tapering to the apex. The lack of sexual dimorphism is also seen in
the strikingly aposematic wing markings: strongly maculate black or blue black
on combinations of blue, bright yellow, orange or white.
The ansa of the tympanic bulla is robust, relatively short, T-shaped,
lacking the central expansion of the typical geometrine (Cook & Scoble, and
see Fig 11). The male third sternite has a central patch of setae, more elongate
transversely (Fig 11 compared with Figs 238-243), but not the distinct comb that
characterises the Ennominae.
In the male genitalia the vinculum is cruciform as in many Geometrini,
and this is associated with strong coremata: in many ennomines, Sarcinodes and
Eumelea, the presence of coremata is associated with a looping down of
the vinculum on each side to accommodate them. The socii are vestigial,
contrasting strongly with their elaboration in Geometrini. The valves are simple
with the sacculus produced apically as a rather blunt harpe. The aedeagus
resembles those of many Geometrini in being sclerotised strongly only in a
relatively narrow ventral strip along its length, and the vesica is tubular,
unornamented as in the majority of Geometrini.
The female genitalia lack a signum. The ovipositor lobes are not
modified in the manner that appears to characterise most Geometrini (Geometrini).
The early stages require further study from a higher classificatory
viewpoint. The eggs are more or less spherical. The smooth-skinned larva is
aposematically coloured and has a defensive resting posture with the body held
in arched posture, only the prolegs holding on to the substrate: the rounded
head is curled round under the thorax in contact with the true legs, tucked
under the metathoracic pair (Barlow, 1982: Prashanth et al., in
prep.). The pupal cremaster has four pairs of robust hooks, relatively widely
spaced. Further notes on the biology may be found below, with references to the
The only included genus is found throughout the Indo-Australian tropics
eastwards to the Solomons, where there are four endemic species.
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