Type species: malvae Esper (= albago Fabricius), Europe.
All species have
satiny primrose‑yellow forewings and yellow to whitish hindwings. The
forewings vary amongst them in the relative emphasis of fine, transverse,
variably angled orange to brown fasciae and of a central longitudinal wedge of
the same colour.
In the male
abdomen, both sclerites of the eighth segment narrow anteriorly, the larger
sternite more markedly so to a point, the tergite narrowing to a bilobed
pocket. In the genitalia the vinculum is broader than the tegumen to
accommodate the broad valve bases, but the tegumen is longer. The valves have
an angular inner margin to the sacculus and are divided distally into three, the
divisions being deep in the type species but much less so in most other
species. The three processes consist of a central spine (possibly the harpe)
flanked by two lobes (saccular and costal). The aedeagus is long. The vesica is
only moderate in size but is usually complex, with several diverticula; the
only ornamentation is a sclerite, sometimes spiny, distally on the main part
leading to the ductus ejaculatorius.
In the female
genitalia (albago and transversa Guenée), the eighth segment has
a ventral longitudinal dividing groove that extends to the ostium. The ductus
bursae is narrow, unsclerotised. The bursa is an irregular pyriform, slightly
corrugate and scobinate. A duct as long as the ductus leads from the base of
the bursa to a spherical or ovoid, more sparsely but coarsely spined appendix
The larvae have
the first two pairs of prolegs reduced, with appendiculate crochets on the
developed pairs (Gardner 1941, 1946a), and are recorded as feeding mostly, but
not exclusively, on Malvaceae and relatives (Robinson et al., 2001).
The genus is
moderately diverse in the Old World tropics, favouring areas with more seasonal
climates and extending to semiarid and Mediterranean climate regions on each
side of the tropics.
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