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Sarbena Walker

Type species: lignifera Walker, Borneo.

Synonym: Cyphotopsyche Hampson (type species ustipennis Hampson, Bhutan).

This genus was reviewed by Inoue (1996) to include the type species and
ustipennis Hampson, though it was originally treated as distinct by Poole (1989). It was placed with Roeselia Hübner by Hampson (1900), but was associated with Proneca within it by the sharing of modified tegulae that form a hood over the head. The forewing has a ligneous brown pattern of longitudinal streaking. The hindwing has quadrifine venation, though M3 and CuA1 are stalked, and the forewing venation is complete, branching as in Ctenane. The Budapest group has discovered that lignifera sensu Inoue represents a complex of species ranging through the Indo-Australian tropics to the Solomons, and it is possible that lignaria Rothschild (New Guinea; described in Chionaema) represents a good species rather than being a synonym of lignifera.

In the male abdomen, apodemes are on the eighth tergite only, slender and widely separated. The uncus is short, broad, sometimes bifid. The tegumen and vinculum are robust, wide at their point of junction. The valves are similarly robust, with dorsal and ventral hooked processes at their central point, and there is a more slender, angled, hooked process arising basally from the valve costa. The aedeagus is short, slight, and the saccus is not developed.

In the female (Fig 27, species from Seram), the ovipositor lobes together are rather conical. The eight segment is broad and robust. The ductus bursae is long, slender, unsclerotised, expanding into a similarly unsclerotised corpus bursae that contains two tongue-like, invaginated signa and gives rise to a much smaller pyriform appendix bursae.


The species complex has been reared at the extremes of its range by Hampson (1900; ex Dudgeon), Gardner (1943), Bell (MS), Piepers & Snellen (1904), Bigger (1988) and see also Inoue (1996), the last two sources but one illustrating the larva. It is snowy white, with the tufts of setae on verrucae also incorporating fluff of the same colour. The body beneath this white pelt is pale green, and there are a few black marks or setae on the thorax. The head is round, shiny, smooth, marked reddish brown and translucent white. Previous head capsules are stacked in a tapering horn on the prothorax and may number as many as six.

The eggs are laid in batches, and the larvae are gregarious, feeding on the undersides of leaves and resting there, usually in a curled posture. Pupation is in an untidy brown cocoon that incorporates the body hairs, head capsules and particles of bark. The cocoons are strung along the undersides of twigs and leaf midribs (Bigger, 1988).

The host plants are species of Terminalia (Combretaceae). Bigger also recorded Terminalia as host of a head-capsule stacking species in the Acatapaustus Bethune-Baker complex.

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