species: turca Linnaeus.
genus is treated here in a broad sense to embrace all Gramineae-feeding hadenines
with (mostly) uniform to longitudinally striate forewings. These are often
divided amongst a number of genera (e.g. by Sugi in Inoue et al. (1982))
but all share two distinctive features: in the male genitalia the valve bases
are united by a bubble-like structure (Franclemont, in Calora (1966)); in the
female genitalia the ovipositor lobes are strongly sclerotised, with their
distal margin distinctively oblique. The second feature is probably associated
with oviposition within the leaf axils or between blades of the graminaceous
hosts in neat rows (Lorimer, in Heath & Emmett (1979)). The female bursa
copulatrix lacks signa.
broad treatment of the genus follows Lorimer rather than Franclemont (1951),
Calora (1966) or Hodges et al. (1983) as it is likely for reasons given
below that the major section, the Aletia Hubner group, is paraphyletic,
being defined largely on plesiomorphic characters, though containing some
obviously monophyletic groups. Until this major group can be revised and
subdivided on the basis of well defined apomorphic attributes the broad
treatment must be followed. This work is currently being undertaken by Dr. A.
Legrain of Belgium whose manuscript notes and correspondence with colleagues at
the BMNH also indicate a preference for grouping all the taxa under Mythimna,
with progressive recognition of subgenera.
treatment here will build on the observations of Franclemont, Calora and others,
and will hopefully not prejudice that being undertaken by Legrain.
group as a whole contains numerous pests of graminaceous crops and pastures,
including several serious armyworm species.
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