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Polypogon Schrank

Type species: tentacularia Linnaeus, Europe.

Synonyms: Adrapsoides Matsumura (type species reticulatis Leech, see below); Anitha Walker (type species mundiferalis Walker, Borneo) syn. n.; Cleptomita Grote (type species atrilineella Grote, Texas); Herminia Latreille (type species ventrilabris Fabricius = tarsicrinalis Knoch, Europe); Lysimelia Walker (type species: neleusalis Walker, Borneo) syn. n.; Macrochilo Hübner (type species cribralis Hübner, Europe = cribrumalis Hübner); Megachyta Grote (type species lituralis Hübner, Florida); Mesoplectra Butler (type species lilacina Butler, Japan); Mixomelia Hampson (type species decipiens Hampson, India) syn. n.; Pechipogo Hübner (type species pectitalis Hübner = strigilata Linnaeus, Europe); Pechypogon Agassiz (unjustified emendation of Pechipogo); Pityolita Grote (type species pedipilalis Guenée, North America); Pogonitis Sodoffsky (unnecessary replacement name for Herminia); Strigina Savigny (type species poae Savigny, type locality not stated); Zanclognatha Lederer (type species tarsiplumalis Hübner, Europe = lunalis Scopoli).

Though Edwards in Nielsen et al. (1996) included Polypogon in the Herminiidae, he also included the family-group name based on it, Polypogoninae, as a synonym of Hypeninae. Fibiger & Lafontaine (2005) placed Polypogoninae as a synonym of Herminiinae.

Poole (1989) brought most of the above generic names into synonymy because their distinction is not well understood and requires investigation on a global basis. Hipoepa (see below) has subsequently (Owada, 1992, 1994; but not Nielsen et al., 1996) been treated as distinct. Owada (1987) recognised Polypogon, Pechipogo, Zanclognatha and Herminia as distinct. Whilst he indicated a relationship to exist amongst the first three, he considered that Herminia was clearly distinguished by reduction of the number of tarsal segments of the male foreleg from five to one. The New World generic names listed have not been investigated in this context.

Bornean species related to this complex only include three of the species found in Japan: reticulatis Leech, placed by Owada in Zanclognatha; kurokoi Owada and terminalis Wileman, placed by Owada in Herminia. The last species has subsequently been found to be conspecific with decipiens Hampson, the type species of Mixomelia Hampson, treated as distinct from Polypogon by Poole (1989) and including several more Bornean species or relatives of new ones. Most of these show the male foreleg characters of the Herminia concept of Owada, particularly reduction of the tarsal segments to one. This feature is also seen in the type species of Lysimelia Walker, another genus treated by Poole as distinct from Polypogon that includes a number of Bornean species. Most of these species show facies and genitalia features that are consistent with inclusion in the Polypogon group, but add a much greater range of structural variety to that seen in the Japanese fauna. However, within this, there are no really clear indications of major groupings, hence the policy advocated by Poole (see also Scoble (2005)) of treating this complex in a very broad sense until a global revision can be undertaken is followed here. Mixomelia and Lysimelia are brought into the synonymy, but some commentary is made on possible groupings, both in this section and under particular species.

Bracharthron Hampson (type species maculapex Hampson, India) is frequently cited (Nye, 1975; Poole, 1989; Nielsen et al., 1996) as a synonym of Lysimelia because its type species was considered to be a synonym of neleusalis. However, it is apparent that this has been due to confusion with Nodaria maculipex Hampson (see below). Lödl (1999e) listed both maculipex and neleusalis under Mixomelia Hampson (see also the next paragraph), but included maculapex as a synonym of neleusalis with a query against it. Lödl (unpublished) has dissected type material of maculapex (India, Nilgiri Hills), and it is evident from the male genitalia that this species bears no relationship to neleusalis; it is currently curated under Lithilaria Rosenstock in BMNH.

Lysimelia was placed in the Herminiinae by Poole (1989), but Edwards in Nielsen et al. (1996) assigned it to the Hypeninae. Its facies and genitalia characteristics show it to be part of the Polypogon complex. Lödl (1999e) combined the type species of Lysimelia with Mixomelia, but retained perixeimenus Rothschild as distinct within Lysimelia which he treated as a good genus. See the treatment of neleusalis below.

Poole (1989) listed several species of uncertain status under Herminia. One was circumferalis Walker ([1866] 1865, List Specimens lepid. Insects Colln Br. Mus., 34: 1159). The original description states the holotype from Sarawak was in the Saunders collection, but reference to it has not been located in Swinhoe (1900) or in a subsequent (1970) manuscript list of types in OUMNH, by I. Lansbury. The species also cannot be located in BMNH card indices for Macrolepidoptera or pyralids. The original description is of a moth with two large brown patches on the costa of the forewing that seem reminiscent of the black ones in Sarobela litterata Pagenstecher (p. 202), but this is only a tentative suggestion.

Almost all species in this complex of genera can be distinguished by their facies. It is similar to that of Simplicia Guenée except the submarginals are very much closer to the distal margins (seen also in a few Simplicia, such as schaldusalis Walker and allies) and are dark, resembling the more basal fasciae, except in typical Lysimelia Walker, where they converge on the S. schaldusalis group by having the ground colour darkening into the fascia with distinctly paler edging distal to it. The short section of the hindwing submarginal extending to the dorsum from the obtuse angle is much more often convergent with the margin than in Simplicia. The species are usually much smaller, and more delicately built than the typical Simplicia.

The male antennae are ciliate, fasciculate or bipectinate, more rarely noded. The labial palps are usually slender, sickle-shaped and upcurved to above the head, but occasionally they are straight, directed more forwards. The male forelegs always have a sheath, but the tarsal segments are variable as indicated above. All may be present, and of normal length as in the first five species treated below, but in a few cases the first tarsal segment is very long and the other four very short, altogether being less than half the length of the first. In three Japanese species placed in Zanclognatha by Owada (1987) this condition is accompanied by a prominent bulge in the femur opposite the first tarsal segment. In the next two species treated below (nothusalis Walker and producta Hampson, the former placed in Auchmophanes Turner and the latter in Mixomelia by Poole (1989)), the tarsal condition is as in these Zanclognatha but the femoral bulge is lacking (but see Subsimplicia reniformis sp. n. on p. 108). A preparation of classeyi sp. n. has not been made, as material is limited, but the tarsus extends beyond the sheath. The next species, warleyi sp. n. has the tarsal segments further reduced, but a claw is still present.

In the remaining Bornean species, the tarsal segments are reduced to one, lacking a claw, as in Herminia as recognised by Owada (1987), the first two, kurokoi and decipiens, being included by him in that genus as discussed above. Poole (1989) placed decipiens in Mixomelia, and the next five were also listed there by him or are related to species that were. Four of the last five were listed under Lysimelia, the exception being kona Swinhoe, placed in Nodaria, as was mundiferalis Walker. Poole was mostly cataloguing the BMNH curation at the time of writing and did not have the benefit of any morphological information.

The male abdomen has the eighth segment of the framed corematous type as in Simplicia, but there are many variants on this theme, and it may approach the unmodified condition. The sternite may have a single central corema. The genitalia also show great variation, though most of the Japanese species placed in Zanclognatha by Owada (1989) have strong costal and saccular processes to the valves, often with the central part narrowed, giving a deeply trifid form; the three species with very short tarsal segments 2-4 have simpler, more rhomboidal valves. Most Herminia in the Japanese fauna have tongue-like valves with relatively short and often rather basal costal and saccular distal processes. The aedeagus vesica in the complex very often contains bundles of robust spines or larger cornuti in addition to scobination.

The female genitalia in most of the Polypogon complex species examined have the horseshoe-shaped array of more dispersed, finer spicules in the distal part of the bursa copulatrix as discussed on p. 20. The trio of species commencing with adda Swinhoe is an exception to this (p. 133).

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