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Speiredonia Hübner

Type species: feducia Stoll (= itynx Fabricius), type locality stated to be Surinam, probably in error [Indian Subregion].

Sericia Guenée (type species: spectans Guenée, Australia).

This genus has been partially reviewed by Holloway (1979) for the southwest Pacific fauna, and by Zilli (2002) more generally, the latter providing a checklist. Further details of the genus will be found in Zilli, Holloway & Hogenes (2005).

The facies is characteristic, the fore- and hindwings being similarly patterned (the forewing is more fasciated over the basal half) with irregular, rather zig-zag paler and darker fasciae in shades of brown, often with a vinous tint. The forewing postmedial is strongly looped, reversing on itself in the discal area in somewhat similar but not identical manner to that seen in the
Anomis Hübner complex or in Platyja Hübner (see p. 14). This looping forms a strong ‘3’ shape (right wing) and is often blacker in the discal area, the cavities usually being filled with a dull dark blue, and may have white flecks in the more posterior cavity. The hindwing has a small submarginal black patch continuing a white dot in the space posterior to CuA2 in many species; this also occurs on the underside, where there are more regular dark fasciae in the postmedial position. That of the hindwing is intensified interior to the submarginal spot and in the M1/M2 interspace (some Avatha have this fascia emphasised in the same positions). The male antennae are ciliate, and the labial palps are typically catocaline. The tibiae of the male legs are crested with scales.

The male abdomen has the eighth segment unmodified. The genitalia have the uncus apex of the ball-and-claw type, compressed so the cleft is narrow and it appears beak-like. There is a strong scaphium. The juxta is of the inverted ‘Y’ type. The valves are spatulate or broadened distal to a variably double process at the apex of the sacculus. The aedeagus is slender and the vesica has several slender diverticula, sometimes with extensive reversed spining; the vesica is broader and more finely scobinate in;
S. mutabilis Fabricius, which also has a less well developed and more irregular forewing loop.

In the female genitalia, the seventh sternite is variable but strongly reduced, often narrow, and usually has a bilobed antevaginal plate that covers the ostium. The ductus is relatively short, a sclerotised tube that joins the base of the bursa asymmetrically. Near the base there is a very short appendix bursae that tapers into the ductus seminalis. The bursa is elongate, with fields of closely spaced small spicules, usually most pronounced subbasally, where they may form a swirl or involve longitudinal ridges. The spicules may also intensify to a much lesser degree subapically.

The only host record located is from the Leguminosae; the related Australian genus
Dasypodia also feeds on this family (Common, 1990). Adults of species in both genera have been noted to enter caves and buildings (Holloway, 1979; Common, 1990; Sugi, 1996b), and both are migratory, reaching Norfolk I. from Australia (Holloway, 1996).

The Oriental literature contains many references to
Speiredonia retorta Linnaeus; this is in fact Spirama retorta Clerck (p. 125; and see Nye (1975: 455)), as Speiredonia was applied to that genus until late in the last century, with the species discussed here assigned to Sericia. It is possible that the type species itynx (Indian Subregion, Java, Palawan, Sulawesi, Moluccas; Figs 137, 138, 140) will prove to occur in Borneo, as it is found in areas to the immediate north and south. It is like a small S. alix Guenée, but the male genitalia have a valve more as ibanorum Zilli & Holloway, with a more paddle-like apical portion and less elongate processes to the bifid saccular apex; the aedeagus vesica has a row of reversed spines along the most elongate diverticulum rather than an apical patch on a short central one. The female genitalia have a much broader, antevaginal plate, a more elongate ductus and a slighter bursa (see also Zilli, Holloway & Hogenes, 2005).


Speiredonia itynx

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