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Mudaria Moore

Type species: cornifrons Moore, (N. India).

Synonym: Plagideicta Warren (type species leprosticta Hampson, Sri Lanka) syn. n.

This genus was reviewed by Holloway (1982: 229) under its junior synonym. The type species of Mudaria, despite its uniformly pale forewing ground colour, agrees with Holloway's characterisation of Plagideicta in forewing pattern elements and genitalic features.

Holloway defined the genus on the following: a 'thyatirine' brewing pattern of pale leprous blotches on brown; a small tuft of straw-coloured scales or hairs on the anterior margin of some or all of tergites 4-7 in the male (not in the type species); bifid anterior margins to the male 8th tergite and sternite; a broad, often squarish uncus in the male genitalia; an arched harpe on the valves, bearing blunt spines; a broad aedeagus, with a basal sclerotised band in the vesica leading usually to a heavier band that is often spined or serrate; the vesica has a distal, massive cornutus; the female bursa is asymmetric, scobinate and corrugate, the scobination becoming coarser in one part of the bursa.

The ductus bursae has a sclerotised portion that is laterally scrolled as in Chasmina. The harpe of the valve in Chasmina fasciculosa (see p. 185) is reminiscent of that of Mudaria so the genera may be related. The condition of the male eighth segment is also consistent with this.

The biology of the genus is unusual in that the larvae so far known are all recorded as pod or fruit borers in the family Bombacaceae. The type species (Moore, 1893) bores as a larva in the pods of silk-cotton tree (Bombax). Mature larvae emerge from fallen pods to tunnel into the soil to pupate in a earthen cocoon lined with silk. Adult emergence is timed to coincide with the flowering of the host. Roepke (1916) described a new species M. variabilis Roepke boring in pods of kapok (Ceiba pentandra) in Java. It also occurred on wild Bombax species. The larva is illustrated as smooth, with a strongly developed prothoracic shield, a common tendency in borer larvae. Various Malaysian taxa have been recorded from durian fruits (Durio) as minor pests.

The centre of diversity would appear to be Sundaland, showing some correlation with diversity in the host family. The genus ranges from the Indian Subregion to Fiji. All taxa listed by Holloway (1982) must be transferred to Mudaria together with the species rudolfi Kobes (Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia) comb. n. and nubes Kobes (Sumatra) comb. n.

One species in Borneo is represented by only a female. This is listed below but not described formally.

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