Scoble & Edwards (1989) proposed a stricter definition of the
Oenochrominae to apply to a suite of robust-bodied Australian genera, with Sarcinodes
Guenée as the only Oriental representative, reverting more or less to Guenée'
s original concept of the group. Even so, these authors were pressed to
recognise uniquely derived characters with which to circumscribe their strict
concept, relying on general similarities of facies, wing venation and male
genitalia structure, none of these offering any obviously derived
In the male genitalia these authors noted that the fultura superior
(sclerotisation of the diaphragm dorsal to the
anellus) fuses with the transtilla (basal part of the valve costa) to form a rigid plate. In addition, Cook
& Scoble (1992) suggested that the circular form of the lacinia and its
orientation parallel to the tympanum in the tympanic bulla was an autapomorphy for these robust
Oenochrominae. The first feature is not apparent in Sarcinodes but
the second, according to Cook & Scoble, is present.
In the female genitalia the signum, when present, is a single, small,
circular patch of sclerotisation, somewhat as in those ennomines where it is
reduced from the typical stellate, mushroom-like form.
Studies of larval characters undertaken so far (McFarland, 1988; Scoble
& Edwards, 1989) do not offer any definitive features except the probable
plesiomorphy of presence of a reduced pair of abdominal prolegs on segment A5 in
some, but not all, robust Oenochrominae genera. However, in the pupa the
cremastral hooks are reduced to a single apical pair, often divergent, in all
the Australian genera (McFarland, 1988).
Host-plants recorded for the Australian genera are in the families
Proteaceae or Myrtaceae (mostly Eucalyptus), with records also from
Leguminosae (Acacia) and Sapindaceae (Dodonaea) for the genus Phalaria
Guenée (McFarland, 1988).
Inclusion of Sarcinodes in this group, and possibly also the
monobasic Moluccan and New Guinea genus Thaumatographe Warren, can be
justified primarily on grounds of the shared tympanal feature, but also on
general similarities of facies and build. The presence of a weak proleg on
segment A5 of the larva (Sommerer, 1995, ex Stüning; Sugi, 1993) is
consistent with this placement, although it is a plesiomorphic feature. The
host-plant of the only Japanese species (see below) is Helicia, a genus
of the Proteaceae that has its greatest diversity in New Guinea but is also
widely distributed and well represented in the Oriental Region.
Thus, in biogeography, Sarcinodes reflects the ennomine Milionia
Walker (Holloway, 1993) and the larentiine Poecilasthena Warren
(Holloway, 1970) in its association with a Gondwanan group of plants, extending
across the Indo-Australian tropics. However, unlike Helicia, the other two
moth genera, the southern conifers with which Milionia is associated and
the Myrtaceae favoured by Poecilasthena, Sarcinodes has its greatest
diversity in the Oriental Region rather than the Australasian.
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