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Polydesma Boisduval

Type species: umbricola Boisduval, Mauritius.

Anthemoisia Blanchard (unnecessary replacement name for Polydesma); Anthemoessa Agassiz (unnecessary emendation of Anthemoisia); Anodapha Moore (unnecessary replacement name for Polydesma); Trichopolydesma Berio (type species collutrix Geyer, S. Africa).

The genus was revised by Berio (1971), but Poole (1989) did not recognise Trichopolydesma Berio as distinct. The facies of all species is similar to that described below for the Bornean representative. The species are relatively delicately built, with wings rather deep. The pattern of fore- and hindwings is similar, unlike in Pandesma. The male antennae are ciliate, and the legs of that sex are generally tufted with scales and hair pencils. The third segment of the labial palps is short.

The male abdomen has the eighth segment unmodified apart from the angularly concave distal margin to the sternite. The uncus is slender with a slight apical spine; a scaphium is present. The juxta is of the inverted ‘Y’ type, its distal part relatively broad. The valves are robust, narrowing to a slender, slightly helical apical part. Just basal to this narrowing is a massive bundle of very long, large, blade-like setae. The aedeagus is long and slender, and the vesica is small but relatively convolute with zones of scobination.

The female genitalia (
umbricola) have the ostium situated just above a small lobe at the apex of the seventh sternite. The sternite is shorter than the tergite, the posterior corners of which are produced round also to converge at the ostium. The ductus is very long, sclerotised, slightly flexed at the distal end where it joins a pyriform corpus bursae set asymmetrically on it. This is generally scobinate but has an irregular field and band of longer spines running round it subbasally.

The type species is found in Africa and the western Indian Ocean, and the genus is predominantly African. Indo-Australian representation consists of the species below and P. scriptilis Guenée from the Indian Subregion.

Larval host plants are predominantly from the Leguminosae (see below).

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