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Parasa Moore

Type species: chloris Herrich-Schaffer (not lepida Cramer; see Fletcher & Nye (1982)).

Synonyms: Neaera Herrich-Schaffer (type species, chloris Herrich-Schaffer);

Callochlora Packard (type species, vernata Packard = indetermina Boisduval); Letois Felder (type species, similis Felder); ?Parnia Mabille (type species, cambouei Mabille).

This genus was placed as a synonym of Latoia Guerin-Meneville by Hering (1955), a treatment followed by Cai (1983) in his elucidation of a number of Chinese species complexes. Latoia is based on the Madagascan species, albifrons Guerin-Meneville; chloris is a North American species.

P. chloris is, in facies, very similar to the Oriental lepida group. One could define Parasa in terms of extensive green areas on the forewing, especially in the female (it can be reduced in males of sexually dimorphic species) and a bisignate bursa in the female genitalia, the signa often attenuated away basad in more of a band. Oriental species have the bursa spiralled whereas it is shorter, unspiralled in chloris. The male genitalia are typical of the limacodid ground plan in all Bornean species, but the bicolor Walker complex in China and some of the other species discussed by Cai (1983) are distinctively modified.

In Latoia albifrons the forewings are mainly rich dark brown with an antemedial band that stops short of both costa and dorsum and consists of three white bars and two intervening green triangles. There is no sexual dimorphism. The male genitalia are typical of the limacodid ground plan, though the gnathus is broad, apically bilobed. The female bursa has the ductus unspiralled and lacks signa. Thus the green areas on the forewing provide the only potential synapomorphy with Parasa.

The Bornean species are therefore placed in Parasa until such a time as a full morphological survey of the pantropical complex can be undertaken. Information on early stages may be necessary for the satisfactory resolution of the problem; this has not been located in the literature for L. albifrons.

Dyar (1899) has described the larva of chloris, which has the dorsolateral scoli on T2 - Al, A4, A7 and A8 longer than the rest, resembling the situation in the lepida group apart from the prominence of A4, though this last is not mentioned by Packard (1893) who also described the larva.

The larva of P. bimaculata Snellen is shown with a complete, uniform set of dorsolateral tubercles (Piepers & Snellen, 1900). All S.E. Asian Parasa larvae have four black patches at their posterior margin (M.J.W. Cock, pers. comm.).

African Latoia sensu Janse (1964) have similar female genitalia to Oriental Parasa and should be separated from the Madagascan type of the former and transferred to the latter.

A number of brown Australian species have been referred to Parasa (e.g. by Hering (1931)). The name Eloasa Walker (type species, calida Walker = alphnea Fabricius) is available for these pending their revision.

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