Type species: lycaenaria
Synonyms: Hypagathia Inoue
(type species carissima Butler, Japan); Lophochiora Warren (type
species cristifera Walker).
Agathia is a diverse genus of bright green species with strong markings in
brown or blackish. These markings are typically clearly defined, narrow,
transverse bands that divide the bright green area of the wings into a series of
blocks and marginal islands. In subgenus Lophochlora Warren (A. vicina
onwards in the account of the species following) the bands are more
irregular, the dark markings more diffuse: diffuse banding is also seen in A.
obsoleta Warren, A. codina Swinhoe, A. gigantea Butler and
The male antennae are
filiform, lacking cilia. Most of the species with typical pattern (laetata Fabricius
and eromenoides sp. n. are exceptions) have a fovea at the base of the
male forewing cell that is covered on the underside by a flap of scales arising
from the cubital vein.
The male abdomen has a
pair of setal patches on the third sternite. In subgenus Lophochlora the
setae are larger, less clumped, and occur more sparsely also between the main
patches (Fig 239 compared with Fig 243). The genitalia have the uncus reduced:
the socii are strong, adjacent, parallel. There are prominent coremata from the
valve bases, and the vinculum is typically cruciform. The valves are
characterised by a variety of processes from the sclerotised costa, and a
sacculus that terminates in an angle at the centre of the
margin. Some sclerotisation may occur beyond this angle, often a longitudinal
band that protrudes as a spur beyond the apex of the valve.
In the female genitalia
the ovipositor lobes are of the modified geometrine type, and there is a
bicornute signum in the bursa.
The larva is typically
robust, green, cylindrical as described for A. laetata below. The
host-plants are restricted to two related families: Apocynaceae (Carissa,
Ichnocarpus, Nerium, Tabernaemontana, Trachelospermum); Asclepiadaceae (Cynanchum,
Marsdenia, Metaplexis). Host-plant records in the genus were reviewed by
Holloway & Sommerer (1984).
The majority of species
is found in the Indo-Australian tropics and subtropics, extending as far east as
Fiji and Norfolk Island. There are a few species also in Africa. Some Oriental
species were reviewed by Holloway & Sommerer (1984) and some Australasian
ones by Holloway (1984c).
to Contents page