View Image Gallery of Tribe Cassymini

This tribe is erected to embrace the complex of genera discussed by Fletcher (1974) as relatives of Zamarada Moore. Fletcher grouped these genera on the grounds of common possession of a long, slender process arising from the base of the dorsal margin of the valve. They include mostly small species, relatively brightly coloured, often with areas of the wings translucent.

Fletcher stated a fovea to be present on the male forewing in some of the genera. It is situated between the fold of vein CuP and the posterior vein of the cell (CuA), but in the African genera Pycnostega Warren and Xenostega Warren it occurs between the fold of CuP and the anal vein. In the Palaearctic Stegania Guenée and the Oriental Hydatocapnia Warren it is basal, marked by a ridge or weak flap along the fold of CuP, and is not strongly carinate. In Peratophyga Warren it is subbasal, bounded most strongly basally by a spur of sclerotisation from CuA that curves round to continue as a slight thickening along CuP to contain an elongate, kidney-shaped zone with numerous curved (concave distad) carinae (Fig 1); on the ridge of each carina is a row of slight punctations. A similar fovea occurs in the Oriental genera Ninodes Warren and Pristostegania Warren, though the carinae are weaker in the former and not apparent in the latter. It is unclear whether these three fovea types are homologous in more than their position anterior to CuP. All other genera lack a fovea.

In all genera the fore wing radial veins are reduced in number. A putative American member of the tribe, Protitame McDunnough, was indicated by Forbes (1948: fig. 5) to have lost R1, whereas he suggested a similar reduction in Macariini occurred through fusion of R1 and R2. Reduction of radial veins is also seen in most Eutoeini, though there are taxa in both these other tribes with the full complement of five: Probithia and Calletaera jotaria in Eutoeini; Hypephyra, and Iridoplecta in Macariini. The genus Orthocabera Butler also has the full complement, but the dorsal process of its divided valve suggests it may be best placed with the Cassymini.

The male antennae vary from bipectinate to ciliate. The male abdomen has the transverse setal comb on the third sternite. The eighth segment is usually unmodified (Cassyma Guenée, Syngonorthus Butler, Auzeodes Warren and Danala Walker are exceptions). The genitalia usually have coremata at the valve bases, but they vary from weak to very long, sometimes doubled. The gnathus varies from weak. to strong, usually with an expanded zone distally. The uncus is often rather broad, sometimes apically bifid in some sections of Peratophyga.

The dorsal process of the valve, long, slender, sinuous or angled, usually with an apical spine, is, as Fletcher (1974) suggested, the most definitive feature for the tribe. Some Macariini, such as the genus Semiothisa, have a similarly narrow process, but this is probably a homoplasious condition as the two tribes differ in, other important features: macariines lack a corema on the valve; cassymines have normal chaetosemata and lack horn-like setae from the uncus. Foveal structure in the two groups is also different.

The ornamentation of the aedeagus vesica is various, from scobination only to possession of one or a few massive cornuti.

No definitive features have been located in the female genitalia. The signum is mushroom-like, stellate in shape, with further spines on the ‘cap’ of the mushroom in some genera. In others it is strongly modified.

Characters indicative of groupings of genera within the tribe are few: a double corema is seen in Auzeodes, Danala and Syngonorthus; these three genera also share an unusual type of signum; a massive furca-like structure is present in Cassyma, Syngonorthus, and Heterostegane Hampson; filiform, ciliate male antennae are common to all the genera just listed but infrequent elsewhere in the tribe, and the dorsal process of the valve is separated from the basal part and appears to articulate with the tegumen and gnathus in all except Heterostegane.

The tribe is most diverse in the Oriental tropics. There are a few African genera, mentioned above, and Zamarada shows very high diversity in Africa (Fletcher, 1974). New World genera referred to Abraxini by Forbes (1948), such as Heliomata Grote & Robinson, Protitame and four genera of white species marked with dark grey (Ballantiophora Butler, Berberodes Guenée, Gyostega Warren and Leuciris Warren), may also be better placed in Cassymini (See Scardamiini). The Palaearctic genus Lomaspilis Hübner should also be included (D. Stuning, pers. comm.).

There are few biological data. These will be noted for individual genera.

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