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 Psilalcis Warren

Type species: inceptaria Walker, Flores.

Synonym: Paralcis Warren (type species conspicuata Moore, N.E. Himalaya) syn. n.

The genus is treated here in a broader sense than by Sato (1984a, 1993) and probably also should embrace Heterarmia Warren, Polymixinia Wehrli and Protoboarmia McDunnough which Sato grouped together as a trio, with Psilalcis as sister-group.

The species have wings mottled and marked darker brown on a pale fawn or yellowish fawn ground in a typical boarmiine manner, the fasciae tending to be rather weakly defined, the postmedials sinuous. The male antennae in Sato's trio of genera are bipectinate, the pectinations unscaled, but all Bornean taxa have them fasciculate, the ciliae very long usually, as in Psilalcis, the fourth genus included by Sato in the complex. This character is also exhibited by Paralcis Warren, together with possession of an acutely produced valve sacculus bearing a long apical setal spine, and the occurrence of a dense cluster of fine needle-like cornuti in the aedeagus vesica. These genitalic characters are seen in Psilalcis intermedia Warren comb. rev., probably a close relative of the type species of Psilalcis. Paralcis is therefore placed as a synonym of Psilalcis (kept distinct by Sato (1993)), but the former genus currently includes a large number of tropical Australasian montane species that are unrelated to the Himalayan type (Holloway, 1986). The genus Phanerothyris Warren (= Rectopis Inoue, Syllegusina Wehrli) may also be referable to Psilalcis but has rather distinctive valve structure.

The whole group is characterised by a number of genitalic features such as, in the male, a reduced or specialised gnathus, setae on the ventral margin of the sacculus that are short, rather spine-like (Sato), a valve often partially cleft with saccular ornamentation, a strong cucullus and a distinctive, setose ampulla arising ventrally from the costa. The female genitalia lack a typical signum but have one or two sclerotised ridges, or a pair of patches with several ridges; the signum is absent in typical Psilalcis but Bornean species combine a double signum with fasciculate male antennae.

The four Bornean species described below exhibit at least some of the features just mentioned, and fall into three groups in combination with other Oriental species. They are all associated here with Psilalcis for the first time, perhaps only tentatively as it is evident there is much more revisional work to be done on this complex.

The type specimen of inceptaria (UM, Oxford) is a female lacking an abdomen, with facies close to that of P. rantaizana Wileman (placed as a subspecies of the Indian P. breta Swinhoe by Sato (1993)) from Taiwan. P. intermedia Warren from Java and Sumatra is biogeographically much closer to Flores and so it and its Bornean relative, described below, can be taken to typify the genus. The Australian (Queensland) Myrioblephara isombra Meyrick appears also to be related.

Sato (1981) indicated the larvae of the Heterarmia group to feed on dead leaves of trees in a range of plant families. Singh (1953) described a larva attributed to P. inceptaria that fed on dry and green grass.

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