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Achaea Hübner

Type species: melicerta Drury (= janata Linnaeus), India.

The genus is diverse in the Old World tropics, with segregation into African Indo-Australian to Pacific subgroups, though with some overlap between the two. It has been reviewed for Africa by Berio (1965a) and for the Indo-Australian tropics by Edwards (1978), Holloway (1982, 1984b) and Holloway & Miller (2003). It is the first in a complex of genera studied by Holloway & Miller, referred to earlier here as the
Achaea / Parallelia complex. A particular shared feature is the development of a trapezoidal or triangular area bounded and defined on the costa subapically by the anterior sections of the postmedial and submarginal fasciae and a line along vein M1. An additional feature found widely in the complex is a modification of the male eighth sternite. This becomes narrower, slightly bilobed anteriorly and posteriorly, with the anterior corners produced and outcurved. However, this feature is not evident in Parallelia Hübner sensu stricto, “P.arctotaenia Guenée, Macaldenia Moore and Pindara Moore. The complex as a whole shows a high incidence of larval feeding on Euphorbiaceae, otherwise uncommon within the Ophiusini, indeed amongst the fruit-feeding genera of the Catocalinae generally. All known pupae have a powdery bloom.

The forewing facies of
Achaea is relatively uniform compared with other genera in the complex, and the fasciation is strongly crenate or wavy in most species. The hindwings are a dull dark brown, usually with a diffuse white medial band and two or three white patches on the margin. The male genitalia have a prominent superuncus. The tegumen is unmodified. The valves bear single coremata and have well separated costal and saccular processes, the former trifid, usually showing bilateral asymmetry, and the latter slender, rodlike, flexed upwards at the base. The aedeagus and vesica are of a similar shape to those of Ophiusa and Ophisma, the aedeagus basally broadening to a falcate, dorsally directed spur.

The female genitalia have a moderate, bilobed plate to the lamella antevaginalis, a relatively long ductus, and a variably shaped corpus bursae.

The larvae are described below for the two commoner Bornean species.

The Indo-Australian representation of the genus was reviewed by Holloway (1982), building on a review of the Australian fauna by Edwards (1978). A tentative phylogeny was presented by Holloway (1984b).

The larva in Indo-Australian species at least has the prolegs on A3 and, to a lesser extent, A4 reduced, and there are dorsolateral tubercles on a transverse ridge on A8. The pupa has a powdery bloom.

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