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Erebus Latreille

Type species: crepuscularis Linnaeus, type locality stated to be America, probably in error; Java, Moluccas to Queensland and Solomons.

Argiva Hübner (type species hieroglyphica Drury, India); Bocana Walker (type species lunaris Walker, Sulawesi = hieroglyphica) praeocc.; Byas Billberg (type species crepuscularis); Cariona Swinhoe (type species albicinctus Kollar, India); Coria Walker (replacement name for Bocana); Crishna Kirby (unnecessary replacement name for Patula Guenée); Eupatula Ragonot (type species macrops Linnaeus); Nyctipao Hübner (type species crepuscularis); Patula Guenée (type species macrops) praeocc.

Both sexes are distinguished by a large and striking ocellate mark in the discal area of the forewing. It consists uniquely of a curved V or Y shaped squiggle basally, brown with fine black edging and bluish highlights, and the circumference is completed distally by a black arc, edged paler on each side, part of the submarginal. Many species show pronounced sexual dimorphism, the males with reduced hindwings that bear pouched androconia on the costa. Such a feature is shared between the Eupatula group and a number of species within Erebus as treated by Kobes (1985), such as caprimulgus Fabricius, as distinct from other Erebus such as ephesperis Hübner and gemmans Guenée, hence all are best treated under Erebus. Several species have extreme, but variable white markings in the submarginal area, and these are often more extensive on the underside, including of males.

The male abdomen has the eighth sternite bilobed. The tergite tapers slightly to a rounded posterior margin, and usually has robust, short, well separated apodemes anteriorly. In the genitalia the valves are extensively corematous, which can obscure the structure of the more rigid parts.

The female genitalia vary in the length and extent of sclerotisation (usually a short, wider section at the ostium) of the ductus, and the shape and development of corrugation in the corpus bursae. In
E. hieroglyphica Drury the corpus bursae is not corrugated, but finely scobinate throughout.

The genus is diverse throughout the Indo-Australian tropics to the Solomons, and there are a few species in Africa (Poole, 1989). The
Eupatula group contains a series of allopatrically distributed species. In addition to the type species, there is walkeri Hampson in Africa, javanensis Hampson in Java and the Lesser Sundas, nyctaculis Snellen in Sulawesi and the Philippines, and macfarlanei Butler in Queensland and from the S. Moluccas to the Solomons.

The biology of several species is described below.

Adults of all five Bornean species have been recorded as fruit-piercers in Thailand (Bänziger, 1982; Kuroko & Lewvanich (1993)).

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