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Ophthalmitis Fletcher

Type species: herbidaria Guenée, India.

Synonym: Ophthalmodes Guenée (praeocc.)

Species of this genus have a characteristic facies. The ground colour is pale fawn, suffused or variegated with greenish brown. The fasciae are blackish and the discal spots likewise, prominent on each wing and usually enclosing an ellipse or lunule of the ground colour.

The male antennae are broadly bipectinate to about four fifths, those of the females more narrowly so. A fovea is present on the forewing. The male third sternite lacks a setal comb.

A diagnostic feature of the male abdomen is a cleft in the eighth sternite, usually rounded, flanked by slightly sclerotised processes. The form of the genitalia is variable, but frequent features include: paired lateral processes to the uncus; some form of sclerotisation, often with spining, along the the sacculus, from the apex of which a band of sclerotisation reverses back acutely towards the costa and often bears spining or other ornamentation. The cucullus is pronounced. The aedeagus vesica is tubular, lacking cornuti.

In the female genitalia the ductus is sclerotised, leading into the neck section of the bursa, either immaculate or slightly scobinate, not sclerotised or fluted. The distal part of the bursa is pyriform with a variably dentate mushroom-type signum. The sterigma is variably modified.

Some observations on the larvae of mainland Asian taxa are available. Sugi (1987) suggested the inflated metathoracic segment was a generic feature (see also Sato, 1984a). There is also a pair of tubercles dorsolaterally on A4. The colours vary from red to grey; the ridge across the dorsum of the metathorax is sometimes distinguished in a different colour. Singh (1953) described the larva of the type species, particularly the chaetotaxy. It is also strongly enlarged at T3. There is a weak pair of tubercles on A1 and a stronger pair on A4 bearing the D1 setae.

Host-plants recorded (Sato & Nakajima, 1975; references below) have been from the families Ebenaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Juglandaceae, Lauraceae, Moraceae and Rosaceae, genera in the first two families (Diospyros and Casearia respectively) being attributed to the type species by Bell (MS) and Singh.

Ophthalmitis is an Oriental genus with its greatest diversity in Sundaland.

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