This tribe as treated by Forbes (1948) and by Hodges et al. (1983)
includes the type genus Cabera Treitschke and a number of other genera
including Erastria Hübner (= Syrrhodia Hübner) and allies (e.g.
Rindge, 1950) where the larvae all feed on Ceanothus (Rhamnaceae),
Records for Cabera, however, are from Betula (Betulaceae), Populus
and Salix (Salicaceae).
The inclusion of Erastria brings the family-group name
Erastriinae, originally applied (Herrich-Schäffer, 1845) as Erastridae to taxa
that are now referred to the Acontiinae in the Noctuidae (Nye, 1975; Kitching,
1984), into synonymy with Caberini. Hemming (see Fletcher, 1979) dated the
relevant part of Herrich-Schäffer at 1851, whereas Caberini derives from
Caberites of Duponchel (1844[-1846]), appearing in a part that was published in
1845. Therefore Caberini has priority. Deiliniinae of Warren (1893) must also be
subordinated, as Deilinia Hübner is a synonym of Cabera, as must
Catopyrrhinae (Warren, 1894), based on Catopyrrha Hübner, a subjective
synonym of Erastria.
Forbes (1948) referred to a feature of the adult that may serve to
define the tribe: a swollen base to the hindwing subcostal vein. However, this
is not apparent in all the Rhamnaceae feeding taxa referred to here.
Larval characters also serve to unite members of the tribe, as revealed
by Singh (1953), McGuffin (1972-1987) and Sato (1976), bringing in the Petelia
Herrich-Schäffer group of genera to the Caberini (Sato) as well as the
Oriental member of the Erastria group, Hyperythra Guenée (as Syrrhodia
in Singh). The Petelia-like Australasian genus Casbia Walker
has larvae resembling those of other members of the group (the type species rectaria
Walker, was reared in New Caledonia by Holloway (1979)). It is diverse in
Australia and extends to the S. Moluccas, New Caledonia, Fiji and Tonga. The
particular features are given by Singh as: 4 setae (cf. 5) on each side of the
meson of the anal shield; seta SD1 on A8 distinctly anterior to the spiracle
rather than above it; ocellus 4 separated from the antennae by less than (cf.
twice the distance) its diameter. More general features are a central
interruption in the mesoseries of crochets on the prolegs, shared with the
Hypochrosini, Scardamiini and the Cassymini and, shared with the last, the
plesiomorphic feature of four (cf. five) external setae on the ventral proleg.
The genus Petrodava Walker is an African member of the Erastria
group, and there are a number of Petelia-like genera in the
Neotropics as well as taxa misplaced in Petelia: Thysanopyga Herrich-Schäffer,
Oenothalia Warren, Perissopteryx Warren, Lobopila Warren
and Oenoptila Warren. Some of these Neotropical taxa are reviewed by Krüger
& Scoble (1992).
There are no obviously definitive genitalic features. In the male there
are weak setose socii, and the gnathus is vestigial. Several genera have
coremata at the base of the sacculus. Females show a variety of signum form,
from a typically ennomine, spined, stalked disc to single or multiple
sclerotised ridges or flanges (Casbia) or absence (many of the Petelia
In most genera the male antennae are bipectinate over the basal
two-thirds to three-quarters. Apart from Cabera, there is a very strong
association with the plant family Rhamnaceae. It has already been mentioned that
many N. American taxa have larvae that feed on Ceanothus. Japanese taxa
of the Petelia complex are recorded from Hovenia (Sato, 1970).
Singh (1953) notes Petelia and Hyperythra (as Syrrhodia)
taxa on Hovenia, Gouania and Ziziphus. There is a record of Petrodava
madecassaria Boisduval from Ziziphus in Africa (Pinhey, 1975).
Casbia species have been reared from Alphitonia, Cryptandria and Pomaderris
(Holloway, 1979; McFarland, 1979; Common, 1990). Two Thysanopyga species
have been reared from Gouania (J. Rawlins in Krüger & Scoble, 1992;
M.J. Scoble pers. comm. ex litt. J. Rawlins).
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