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Manoba Walker

Type species: implens Walker, Borneo.

Rhynchopalpus Hampson (type species argentalis Moore, N. India) syn. n.

The genus Manoba has been treated as a lithosiine arctiid in the past, with
Stictane Hampson as a junior synonym, as discussed in Part 7 of this series (Holloway, 2001). The two genera are not related, Manoba being noline and Stictane lithosiine.

This genus appears to be the most appropriate placement for many species assigned to
Nola and possibly some Meganola in Poole (1989) that have trifine hindwing venation, reduced radial sector forewing venation (usually one vein lost, but see M. brunellus Hampson below) and, in the male abdomen, a strong uncus and an undivided valve. The male antennae are always bipectinate.

The forewing facies is variable, often rather irregular and broken, but the postmedial is usually sinuous, converging with a transverse medial at the dorsum that bounds a darker zone immediately basal to it, but this darker band may be broken, and only strong at the costa.

There are features of the male abdomen that may be definitive, such as strongly splayed (at an obtuse angle to each other) apodemes on the eighth tergite and sternite, the former and sometimes the latter having strong sclerotisation restricted to a narrowed central band (e.g. Fig. 61). There is a pair of strong, rather globular scaphial lobes. The valve is usually deep, with the costal margin straight or slightly concave and the ventral one curved or slightly angled centrally, such that there is a taper towards the apex. The harpe is short and often rather broad, sometimes globular. The bases of the sacculi are closely adjacent to each other centrally over most of their depth. The aedeagus has the insertion of the ductus ejaculatorius set in a rather elongate, excavate basal area, and the base of the aedeagus itself is often square. However, these features are also seen to some extent in the two species assigned to "Nola". The distal half of the aedeagus is usually broader and may terminate in some sort of process from a broad triangle to a reflexed spine. The vesica is small, globular but may have cornuti.


The female genitalia have one or two invaginated, horn-like signa of the advanced type. In implens and the
argentalis group, there is a single, large signum. In brunellus and species subsequent to it in the account following, there are two much smaller ones placed longitudinally relative to each other; these species also have narrower, more elongate valves in the male genitalia.

The definition above will include the more northerly species noted for Okinawa (Ryukyus) by Inoue (2001): M. fasciatus Hampson comb. n.; M. microphasma Butler comb. n.; M. melancholica Wileman & West comb. n. Other taxa that should be included are: M. poecila Wileman & West comb. n. (Philippines); M. tristicta Hampson comb. n. (N.E. Himalaya); M. grisealis Swinhoe comb. n. (N.E. Himalaya); M. melanota Hampson comb. n. (N.E. Himalaya); M. encausta Hampson (N.E. Himalaya); M. lilliptiana Inoue (1998) comb. n. (Nepal); M. izuensis Inoue comb. n. (Japan) and M. banghaasi West comb. n. (Siberia, Japan), the last two illustrated by Inoue et al. (1982). The genus is diverse in the mountains of Seram, where at least a dozen species were taken by the author in 1987 (Holloway, 1993). Two of the four noline species described by Roepke (1948) from Mt. Tanggamus in Sumatra are referable, but all are based on females only. Whilst most species are montane, the group of taxa listed from brunellus onwards, mentioned above, include more widespread lowland taxa which feed on shrubs of disturbed or coastal habitats such as Terminalia (Combretaceae) and Melastoma (Melastomataceae).

M. melancholica feeds as a larva on the flower spikes of Castanea (Fagaceae) (Sugi & Murase, 2000). The larva is rather stout, brown, the verrucae darker, prominent, globular. The biology of M. argentalis Moore, where at least a lax type of larval head capsule stacking persists, is noted below, with the hosts also in the Fagaceae. The brunellus group, as just mentioned, has a different biology.

Three other genus-group names currently placed as synonyms of Nola (Poole, 1989; Nielsen et al., 1996) are based on Australian species with trifine hindwings that are excluded from the strict definition of Nola of Holloway & Miller (1995): Dimona Walker (type species porrigens Walker); Tribunta Walker (type species biguttalis Walker); Sorocostia Rosenstock (type species albalis Walker). Only Dimona is older than Manoba but this lacks the features of the male eighth segment and aedeagus noted above, has the sacculi only slightly associated, lacks scaphial lobes and has the harpe associated with a ventral lobe on the valve. The other two genera also lack these features of Manoba.

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