The Saroba group of genera
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Metaphoenia plagifera Walker
Thermesia plagifera Walker, 1864, J. Linn. Soc. (Zool.), 7: 187.

Metaphoenia plagifera

. This and the next three species are virtually inseparable externally (see generic description), though carneipennis Prout is slightly larger and more strongly marked. Distinction can only be made reliably by examination of the genitalia. The holotype of plagifera is female. In the genitalia the eighth segment lacks scobination except anteriorly, adjacent to the much smaller pockets in the antevaginal pouch. The corpus bursae is longer, more expanded distally, and with a slightly narrower zone subbasally. In the males tentatively associated (slides 18410, 19231, 19232), the genitalia have a rather long apical portion to the valve, with the processes relatively basal as in incongrualis Walker (Sri Lanka), but the processes are arranged more as in carneipennis, the one associated with the costal process rather short and apically squared. The uncus and eighth sternite are also as in the next two species, with a much larger lacuna in the latter than in incongrualis.

Taxonomic note
. Males attributed in BMNH to plagifera from Taiwan (slide 19167) and N.E. Himalaya (slide 19168) proved to have different genitalia.

Geographical range. Borneo.

Habitat preference. The holotype female was taken in Sarawak by A.R. Wallace, probably in the lowlands. Two further females confirmed as plagifera by dissection were taken at 100m on G. Santubong near Kuching in Sarawak. The males associated are from the understorey of lowland dipterocarp forest at 150-170m in the vicinity of the Danum Valley Field Centre in Sabah.

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