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Elusa Walker

Type species: ceneusalis Walker

Synonyms: Alimala Walker (type species limacodoides Walker = ceneusalis); Penza Walker (type species puncticeps Walker); Seria Walker (type species cyathicornis Walker); Lugana Moore (type species antennata Moore, N.E. Himalaya (discussed under ceneusalis below); Desana Swinhoe (type species peninsulata Walker, Mysol I.).

This genus embraces a small group of taxa from the Indo-Australian tropics. It is currently placed within the Hadeninae (Nye, 1975) as it combines trifine hindwing venation with hairy eyes. However, it exhibits none of the other trifine features mentioned above except a cucullus-like structure in some taxa, so its correct placement in the higher classification of the Noctuidae is uncertain.

The labial palps are usually as long or longer than the head, slender, slightly sinuous, most highly developed in the type species, and least so in taxa where the male antennae are simply bipectinate (e.g. puncticeps Walker). In the majority of species the male antennae appear to have a central node. In the type species the pectinations over the basal third are short, thick, rectangular, then twisting and lengthening, becoming slender to give the lenticular central node, then shortening gradually to taper away over the distal part. The pectinations each bear an apical spine in the nodal area. Other species with nodal male antennae show variations on this theme. The female antennae are filiform as are those of males of simplex.

The basal abdominal sternite is deep in the male, broadly 'V' or 'U' shaped, the apodemes short, set well apart, divergent. In ceneusalis the sclerite is posteriorly square, the angles sometimes developed into slight lobes (E. antennata). The eighth tergite in the male is small, weak, triangular sclerite, the sternite with coremata just distal to a sclerotised bar representing its basal margin. This bar sometimes extends posteriorly along the lateral margin of the sternite, and from this margin may arise lateral rods (e.g. cyathicornis). The tergite is also most sclerotised along the basal margin. The coremata on the sternite are most highly developed in the type species and allies.

In the male genitalia the uncus is often strongly modified with socius like structures. The peniculus is weak, overlapped exteriorly by a simple plate from the vinculum. The juxta is usually a simple plate, flanked by unusual strap-like sclerites that appear to arise from the transtilla. The valves have the exterior of the sacculus corematous to a greater or lesser degree, and a strong but simple saccular harpe. The apex of the valve is often setose, the setae directed dorso-basad, but without a marginal coronal row of setae. In a New Guinea species complex (including pratti Bethune Baker and affinis Rothschild) the valve apex is developed into a cucullus but homology with the typical trifine cucullus cannot be assumed. The aedeagus vesica is usually globular, with weak, generally distributed scobination.

In the female genitalia the ovipositor lobes are distinctively shaped, with the dorsal angle strongly produced. The ductus bursae is long, slender, the bursa ovoid, set asymmetrically on it, with general scobination but no definite signum; the ductus seminalis arises from a small lateral lobe of the bursa.

The forewing facies is usually a uniform brown or reddish brown with obscure punctate fasciae and perhaps a pale, straight submarginal. The reniform stigma within most species shows dimorphism, being either obscure or a bilobed white patch.

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