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Agrotis Ochsenheimer

Type species: segetum Denis & Schiffermuller.

Synonyms and subgenera: Georyx Hubner (type species segetum); Noctua Boisduval (type species exclamationis Linnaeus; praeccc.); Psammophila Stephens (type species segetum); Brachypteragrotis Viette (type species patricei Viette, Amsterdam I., in Indian Ocean); Elegarda Walker (type species dorsicinis Walker =  porphyricollis Guenee, Australia); Neosema Rebel (type species sesamioides Rebel, Sokotra I.); Porosagrotis Smith (type species muraenula Grote & Robinson = vetusta Walker, East U.S.A); Scotia Hubner (type species cinerea Denis & Schiffermuller, Palaearctic); Tetrapyrgia Walker (type species graphiphorides Walker = porphyricollis Guenee, Australia); Lycophorus Staudinger (type species villosus Alpheraky, South U.S.S.R., replacement name for Comophorus Alpheraky (praeocc.)); Powellinia Oberthur (type species lasserrei Oberthur, Algeria).

This large cutworm genus is best defined on features of the genitalia. The male valve is elongate, lenticular to rhomboidal, with a coronal fringe of setae around the ventral curvature of the apex. There is a single, simple harpe from the sacculus centrally, with a small accessory lobe just distal to it. The aedeagus vesica has a basal, coarsely scobinate, longitudinal band of sclerotisation in a basal swelling, and extends beyond this as a finely scobinate tube of great length. This length in the vesica is reflected in the female genitalia where the appendix bursae is usually longer than the bursa itself, sometimes twice as long or more, and forms a loop within the abdomen (Common, 1958). There is usually one short signum band in the bursa, sometimes more.

Two species are known from Borneo as described below. Two further species may prove to occur there and are therefore illustrated in Plate 1. They are: Agrotis segetum Denis & Schiffermuller, a well known European and African pest species (Carter, 1984; CIE, 1987) that extends through the Oriental tropics to Palawan, Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi but has not yet been noted from Borneo; Agrotis interjectionis Guenee, from Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi to Vanuatu and northern Australia. Common (1958) recorded nine species from Australia, five of them endemic. One of the Bornean species belongs to a small complex allied to the Palaearctic A. cinerea, extending to Sulawesi the S. Moluccas and New Guinea. Agrotis luzonensis Wileman & South (Luzon) does not belong to this group.

The biology of the type species and A. ipsilon Hufnagel is described by Carter (1984).

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