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This tribe can be defined to include a core group of genera that share the presence of a black-scaled, slender process on the valve of the male genitalia, the main lamina of which is often reduced, and a series of more peripheral genera with similar facies, particularly narrow, grey or brown forewings with a strongly angled postmedial and more transverse antemedial such that the medial area is much wider centrally. Several genera have groundplan venation, but others show modification in the radial sector of the forewing and stalking and loss of the M2 to CuA2 sequence of the hindwing.

In the male genitalia usually the tegumen on each side is elongate, expanding ventrally to overlap the vinculum, often supporting hair pencils or dense masses of scales in the zone of overlap. The saccus is typically well developed. A major group, involving the genera from Etanna Walker to Garella Walker in the sequence below, shares possession of slender processes bearing a distal zone of black scales and arising from the base of the valve costa.

Male tymbal organs, when present, have the members of the pair rather elongate and close to each other (e.g. Figs 126-131). However, the structure of these shows considerable variety within this general form. Similarly elongate tymbal organs are found in some Ariolicini genera.


The female genitalia mostly have the ovipositor lobes acute rather than transverse or ring-like. The ductus is usually long, slender, and the bursa may be generally scobinate or have signa.

Gardner (1947) placed members of the Etanna group referred to above together with
Nycteola Hübner in a subgroup of his Division C, sharing characters of head setae and relative positions of the ocelli. The body setae are generally long.

The Etanna group mentioned above has several records of larvae feeding on flowers, seeds and fruits as well as on foliage (e.g. in Robinson et al., 2001). Also noted below is the ability of larvae in two of the genera to move in reverse as well as forwards, unusual amongst the Macrolepidoptera.

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