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Toxoproctis Gen. n.

Type species: munda Walker.

Members of this genus have very uniform male genitalia characteristics, but it may be related to the Palaearctic genus Sphrageidus Maes (1984a) (type species similis Fuessly) and the temperate Australian genus Urocoma Herrich-Schäffer (type species limbalis Herrich-Schäffer) Gen. rev. Its biogeographic pattern is also intermediate, being diverse in Sundaland and with representation in Sulawesi, the Moluccas and New Guinea.

The facies in Toxoproctis is variable, but the forewings are relatively narrow, and often have a paler, sinuous postmedial fasciae. Sexual dimorphism is slight, the sexes differing mostly in size. The forewing venation is similar to that of most other genera in the Nygmiini, with M2 present in the hindwing (absent in Sphrageidus, referred to in the diagnosis following).

The male abdomen has tymbals (absent in Urocoma). The genitalia define the genus on the following characters: a broad uncus often on a shouldered base (Sphrageidus is similar, but Urocoma has a rather tongue-like uncus); rather square valves, though tending towards triangular in a few species (they are squarish in Urocoma, but apically upturned in typical Sphrageidus); the juxta is circular with a dorsal notch (ring-like in Sphrageidus, like a trident in Urocoma); a long slender aedeagus with (usually) two ventrolateral extensions into the vesica that terminate in spines (the extensions are shorter, stouter in Urocoma, lacking apical spines, and also short and stout in Sphrageidus with an apical hook); two longitudinal rows of small, reversed spines in the globular vesica, and also scobination at the end of a short appendix, the latter possibly homologous with the more strongly developed condition in the next genus (two weak, more distal bands in Urocoma, none in Sphrageidus, and an appendix in neither). The saccus is long in all three genera.

In the female, the basal part of the ductus is tube-like, sclerotised, distal to which it is membranous, rather corrugated longitudinally, leading into a pyriform bursa with a bicornute or transverse flange-like signum. The basal part of the ductus is unsclerotised in Sphrageidus and Urocoma. A signum is present in Sphrageidus but lacking in Urocoma.

Larvae in this genus can have extremely urticaceous setae that cause serious rashes and swelling when they come in contact with human skin. Occasionally the larvae occur in large numbers and become a significant health hazard. An incident of this kind is described by Chew & Kirton (in press) for the
Peninsular Malaysian species, T. flavociliata Swinhoe comb. n. Outbreaks of such larvae may occur in response to periods of drought. In this instance the larvae were feeding on Glochidion (Euphorbiaceae) trees and were gregarious, congregating on the trunks of host trees and moving collectively along webbing trails in the trees and between them.

The larvae of T. flavociliata are illustrated by Chew & Kirton. They are blackish with a red head and somewhat reticulate pattern over the body. They appear to lack the humps on segments A2 and A3 that occur in Sphrageidus.

As well as the species discussed below, the genus includes: T. flavociliata Swinhoe comb. n. (Peninsular Malaysia); T. celidota Collenette comb. n. (Java, Sumatra); T. despina Schintlmeister comb. n. (Sumatra); T. innotata Walker comb. n. (Moluccas, Sulawesi); T. icoinnotata Collenette comb. n. (Sulawesi) and T. coniochroa Bethune-Baker comb. n. (New Guinea).

The genus is named in memory of L.J. Toxopeus, but the name will no doubt also be taken to reflect the noxious irritation caused by the larvae to human skin!

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