Synonyms: Anepischetos Smith (type species bipartita Smith, U.S.A.); Apanda Moore (type species denticulata Moore, India); Badausa Walker (type species hypenoides Walker = telamonalis Walker, see below); Biangulypena Lödl (type species biangulatoides Poole, Africa); Bomolocha Hübner (type species crassalis Fabricius, Europe); Conscitalypena Lödl (type species conscitalis Walker, Old World tropics); Erichila Billberg (type species proboscidalis); Euhypena Grote (type species toreuta Grote, U.S.A.); Extremypena Lödl (type species extremipalpis Lödl, Zaire); Herpyzon Hübner (type species proboscidalis); Lomanaltes Grote (type species laetulus Grote, U.S.A.); Macrhypena Grote (type species deceptalis Walker, U.S.A.); Meghypena Grote (type species velifera Grote, U.S.A.); Mathura Moore (type species albisigna Moore, India); Nesamiptis Meyrick (type species plagiota Meyrick, Hawaiian Is.); Ogoas Druce (type species albipuncta Druce, Guatemala); Ophiuche Hübner (type species lividalis Hübner, Europe); Peliala Walker (type species tenebrosa Walker, Venezuela); Plathypena Grote (type species scabra Fabricius, N. America); Pseudodichromia Lödl (type species laetalis Walker, Africa); Rowdenia Nye (replacement name for Tomyris Druce); Tetrastictypena Lödl (type species tetrasticta Hampson, southern Africa); Tomyris Druce (type species nigropuncta Druce, Central America), praeocc.; Trichypena Joannis (type species gravalis Mabille, Mauritius).
This genus has been the subject of extensive studies by Lödl (e.g., for Africa, Lödl (1995, 1998a, 1998b)), and has been compared with the next two genera (Lödl, 1993), the three forming a monophyletic unit, the Hypena group. It is probable that Euphiuche Gen. n. (p. 194) is also a member, but the relationship to the group of the Bornean genera described from Catada Walker onwards (p. 195 et seq.) has yet to be established.
The facies of the genera usually consists of a uniform hindwing and a much more strongly marked forewing with a prominent postmedial that may be of various forms: straight, oblique, curved, triarcuate, and is sometimes angled back just subcostally. Here it may form the basal border of a lens-shaped area extending from the postmedial along the costa to the apex, the posterior curvature of which is defined by a sharp boundary with a darker suffusion in the submarginal area. The lens itself may be distinctly paler, and often contains two white dots enclosed with black immediately basad that are part of an irregular, often punctate, submarginal fascia. The antemedial is often obscure, but recurs relatively basally, often a curved, irregularly crenulate or zigzag fascia that is much less well defined than the postmedial. There are numerous variations on this theme.
The male antennae are usually ciliate, and the labial palps are extended forwards (or in a slightly porrect position) by elongation of the second segment, the third tending to be much shorter (a third to a quarter of the length), often angled upwards and apically acute. This projection forwards, together with a tuft of scales protruding from the frontal area of the head, gives the group the vernacular name of ‘snouts’.
The male genitalia provide many of the definitive features of the generic group, and also those for the individual genera. The tegumen and vinculum tend to be fused at their junction on each side, but this is well dorsal of where the valves articulate; this articulation is more extensive in Hypena. The uncus is apically acute, tapering, but in Hypena it is more robust, with the tapering part restricted to a hooked apical part. Much of the length is relatively straight and may be expanded centrally. The valves are evenly laminar, without distinct costal or saccular areas, though there is a short longitudinal pleat centrally over the basal part. In Hypena and Dichromia Guenée this pleat may be associated with small processes, usually just ventral to it. In some subgenera of Hypena these may be more in the saccular area, and in others, the pleat may be extended distally to a process or lobe near the apex of the valve (e.g. Fig. 409). The saccular area may also be expanded in some African groups. The valves of Oriental taxa tend to be relatively unmodified, and male genitalia generally provide few diagnostic features. Sometimes the exterior surface of the valves bears elongate, balloon-like scales, but these are usually deciduous and lost in preparation of the genitalia. The aedeagus is frequently flexed obtusely near the centre, and the ductus ejaculatorius enters over a fused zone just posterior to the angle, with the basal part extending beyond this point. In Hypena and Dichromia Guenée, the anellar ring is usually finely spined, and there may be further patches of fine spines in the globular vesica. The base of the aedeagus may terminate with a slight halo-like flange.
The eighth abdominal segment in the male is modified, though the sternite may have its distal margin slightly bilobed. the tergite has short, broad, widely separated apodemes but is otherwise uniformly sclerotised in Hypena (see also Dichromia on p. 186). In both sexes, the phragma lobes between the first and second tergites are large, triangular (Fig 378).
The female genitalia usually lack any development of a sterigma. The ductus is often long, slender, sometimes expanded at the ostium into a slight antrum. The corpus bursae is variable in shape, from globular to elongate, and may be invested with areas of rugosity, scobination or fine spining, but rarely is this concentrated into a signum.
The larvae of several species are described in the sections following. Tominaga (2002) described the larvae of six species in the genera Hypena and Dichromia, though assigning them all to the former. They are semi-loopers with the prolegs on A3 absent, the rest being fully developed. There are primary setae only, set on chalazae, often robust and sometimes black against a green ground. The segments are well defined, an effect often enhanced by a narrowly paler intersegmental membrane. Tominaga suggested that tropical members of the genera were associated to a large extent with the Urticaceae.
Records of capture for several species (e.g. H. jugalis Walker, H. similata Moore, and H. ischyra Prout) in forest around the Danum Valley Field Centre in Sabah (S.J. Willott, unpublished data) indicate a strong tendency for understorey flight.
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