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Apospasta Fletcher

Type species: sabulosa Fletcher, Ethiopia.

This genus was described to include a large number of montane African species and a few from the Indian Subregion. It was suggested by Holloway (1986) that the genus would also come to include several further montane Indo-Australian tropical species. This has proved to be correct.

The genus lacks hair pencils in the male and is perhaps best defined by features of the male genitalia, most particularly the harpe which extends ventrally as a band into the sacculus to terminate in a much smaller, angular projection. The neck of the cucullus is usually very long, but not angled as in Dictyestra. The aedeagus vesica usually has a subbasal lateral arm that is almost equal to greater in development to the main arm (that extends into the ductus ejaculatorius) up to its group of cornuti. The lateral arm bears one or more apical cornuti that are usually significantly larger than those spines, reversed when everted, that ornament the main arm.

The female genitalia have the appendix bursae longer than the bursa; the latter lacks signa.

Outside Africa the genus consists of the rather distinct (in aedeagus ornamentation) A. pannosa Moore (S. India, Sri Lanka), the probable sister taxa A. sikkima Moore (N.E. Himalaya, Sumatra, Java, Luzon, Sulawesi; variations in genitalia suggest several races, and that from Luzon has an available name, ssp. marmoraria Wileman & South comb. n. and stat. n.) and A. iodea Rothschild comb. n. (Sumatra, Java, Bali, Seram; sacculus developed into a massive spine), and the two Bornean species that, with A. stigma Joicey & Talbot comb. n. from New Guinea, may form a monophyletic group defined by general facies similarity, a short, rather globular harpe, and a rather thick cucullus neck that expands gently out to the cucullus rather than being relatively uniformly slender. The two Bornean taxa are probably sister-species, sharing possession of a unique angular process on the dorsal margin of the cucullus.

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