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Naarda Walker

Type species: bisignata Walker, Sula Is.

Synonyms: Eublemmara Bethune-Baker (type species tandoana Bethune-Baker, Angola); Ptyophora Hampson (type species ochreistigma Hampson = ineffectalis Walker, Sri Lanka).

This genus consists of small, purplish grey-brown species with rather triangular forewings. Both forewings and hindwings are crossed by a series of irregular darker fasciae, and the forewing often has a prominent, ovate, yellow, discal mark that may contain a dark spot. The labial palps are elongate, directed forwards, with a variably shaped dorsal crest of scales on the second segment; the third segment is very small. The male antennae are usually ciliate. The phragma lobes between the first and second abdominal tergites are distinctive, convergent centrally to form a shallow bell-curve with a central suture (Figs 359, 361).

The male abdomen has a weakly developed framed corematous eighth segment, sometimes with a central corema towards the anterior of the sternite. The genitalia have a narrow but often bulbous or centrally deeper uncus that may be modified apically. The saccus is always narrow, acute. The valves may be entire, divided, or have a strong saccular process. The juxta may also be modified. The aedeagus of ineffectalis Walker and some other species in the Bornean fauna extends into a massive spine at the base of the vesica. Species with a saccular process lack this spine but have more general scobination. One species has a broad tegumen with prominent blade-like structures arising on each side.

The female genitalia have a short, broad ductus bursae and a much larger, irregular, partially scobinate corpus bursae. The margin of the ostium is broadly bilobed. The ovipositor lobes are square, with a ventral pair of narrow secondary lobes or pseudopapillae similar to those in Lymantriidae and other noctuoids (Holloway, 1999: 3).

The higher placement of the genus is problematic. Poole (1989) listed it in the Herminiinae, but the labial palps are atypical, perhaps more hypenine (the placement in Nielsen et al. (1996)). The abdominal characters, particularly the structure of the uncus and valves in the males and the general scobination of the corpus bursae in the female, are more herminiine. The facies has weak resemblance to that of Hadennia, but the male genitalia features do not support this association. Prout (1928), in discussing N. nodariodes (see below), referred to a fold on the costa of the underside of the male forewing, but, though this part of the male forewing is often concave on the margin, the presence of a fold is unclear. Certainly, there is no flap of the kind seen in Hadennia, but there may be a slight fringe of scales in this position over the ventral third of the costa. Development of this feature has been used to distinguish between Naarda and the related genus Gynaephila Staudinger (type species maculifera Staudinger, eastern Asia) in the Japanese fauna (Sugi in Inoue et al. (1982); M. Owada, pers. comm.).

The genus is diverse throughout the Old World tropics, extending east to New Guinea, the Solomons and Australia. The general similarity of many species, combined with the designation of type material of both sexes, means that the establishment of specific concepts and synonymy will be difficult. New Bornean species below are therefore based on male material only, as the genitalia of that sex offer good characterisation. Larvae of Gynaephila are semi-loopers (M. Owada, pers. comm.). Species of Naarda have been reared from rice (Oryza; Gramineae) and the fruits of Dryobalanops (Dipterocarpaceae) (Robinson et al. 2001).

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