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Mecistoptera Hampson

Type species: griseifusa Hampson, Sri Lanka.

This genus was reviewed by Lödl (1997), who placed it in the Hypeninae. The counter-tympanal hood is postspiracular. The labial palps are long, directed forwards or are slightly porrect. The male antennae are ciliate. The forewings are relatively narrow, with an acute or slightly falcate apex, and there is a slight, rather rounded angle at the centre of the distal margin. The hindwings are much shorter than the forewings, and also somewhat narrow, with the posterior half of the distal margin almost straight. The abdomen, particularly of the males, extends well beyond the hindwings in spread insects.

The forewing pattern is diagnostic, especially the multiple postmedial, the most basal component of which is a sharp, fine, pale line that defines the distal boundary of a uniform medial zone and cuts off a triangular projection from that zone in the discal area. There is usually an irregular, punctate submarginal consisting of small black chevrons or lunules that enclose a white speck distad much as in Hypena Schrank and relatives; it does not occur on the underside, however.

The male abdomen is typical of the group, as are the basic features of the genitalia. However, these are characterised by an extended saccular process (relative to other genera in the group) and a more distal one associated with the central pleat (the Valvenfalte of Lödl (1997)) that is usually longer than the saccular one, itself variable in length. There may also be a small lobe or process on the costal margin. The structure of the valves is similar to that of Perciana Walker, a possible sister-genus (Lödl, 1999d).

The female genitalia are as in other members of the generic group.

The genus sensu stricto (Lödl, 1997) consists of the type species, those described below, and three from New Guinea, two described (franzwagneri Lödl and sophiewagnerae Lödl) and one (see below) undescribed. There is also a more widely distributed Indo-Australian species group, two of the species of which are listed in Mecistoptera by Poole (1989) but are misplaced (Lödl, 1997; see below under emmiae Kobes).

An undescribed small brown species of this genus has been reared from Myristica (Myristicacae) and Syzygium (Myrtaceae) in New Guinea (Miller et al., unpublished). The larvae of these species have the prolegs on A3 minute, and those on A4 are also small.

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