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Chusaris Walker

Type species: retatalis Walker, Sri Lanka.

Synonyms: Alelimminola Strand (type species dubiosa Strand, Taiwan); Enea Walker (type species signicosta Walker) syn. n.; Luceriola Strand (type species compripalpis Strand, Taiwan).

This genus consists typically of small species with relatively narrow forewings that have a characteristic facies. The costa bears a series of dark triangles that mark the origin of the submarginal, postmedial and antemedial fasciae, and there may be further dark marks towards the base. These fasciae are otherwise highly irregular, broken, and often indistinct. The submarginal is usually pale and extends from the distal side of the costal triangle; the other fasciae can be dark or pale, often a combination of both. There is additionally a black discal mark, lunulate to triangular, that often has a more diffuse dark shade distal to it and separated from it by a pale bar. The hindwings are more uniform, but usually have a few dark fasciae on the distal part of the dorsal margin. The phragma lobes between the first two abdominal tergites are not always evident, but are small, triangular and well separated when present.

The male antennae are ciliate. The labial palps are long, directed forwards, the second segment longer than the third, the latter narrower, tapering to an acute apex, and usually angled upwards slightly from the second, both being straight. The foreleg has no sheath, but the tibia is as short as the first tarsal segment.

In the male abdomen, the eighth segment has a short, broad sternite with a shallowly concave distal margin. Some species (e.g. the type species of Enea) have the vestige of a corematal frame anteriorly. The tergite is much narrower (less than half the width) than the sternite but slightly longer. It is broader and slightly bilobed or biangular distally, tapering in to a constriction just anterior to the apodemes; these are short and distinctively broad, variable in shape and close together. The genitalia are variable, but the valves are generally narrow, tapering, and there may be processes arising from the costa near the base of the valve, and / or more distally, and there may be lobes in the saccular region. The juxta is variable but may be elongate, tapering and flask-shaped in some species (e.g. the type species of Enea). The aedeagus vesica in retatalis contains a bundle of cornuti but is more usually without ornamentation, though frequently has a number of small diverticula at its base.

The female genitalia of the four species examined usually have the ostium recessed in a shallow, slightly scobinate pocket between the eighth and seventh segments, and the sternite of the latter may be reduced in length. The ductus bursae is short and the corpus bursae very long, with the ductus seminalis arising from it at about one quarter. This is slightly coiled in the herminiine manner in at least one of the species examined. In two (a new species similar to the Chusaris type species and the type species of Enea) there is a short scobinate band set longitudinally, centrally (Enea) or more distally in the corpus bursae. However, the placement of the genus is far from settled. Chusaris was placed in the Hypeninae, with Enea in the Acontiinae, in Nye (1975). Poole (1989) placed Chusaris in the Ophiderinae, whilst Sugi in Heppner & Inoue (1992) placed it in the Catocalinae.

The genus is diverse in the Oriental tropics and extends to New Guinea, but not all the species listed by Poole (1989) fall within the above definition, minoralis Walker, with a related species in Borneo, being one such (see p. 137), and idaeoides Hampson (S. India and further east) being another.

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