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Laelia Stephens

Type species: coenosa Hübner, Europe.

Synonyms: Anthora Walker (type species subrosea Walker, Sierra Leone) praeocc.; Baryaza Moore (type species cervina Moore, India); Charnidas Walker (type species litura Walker, Nepal); Harapa Moore (type species testacea Moore, India); Hondella Moore (type species juvenis Walker, Sri Lanka); Laelioides Moore (type species fasciata Moore, Sri Lanka); Laeliolina Hering (type species paetula Hering, Madagascar); Odagra Walker (type species devestita Walker, India); Procodeca Walker (type species quadrata Walker, Australia); Repena Walker (type species cervina Walker = exclamationis Kollar, Indian Subregion); Ricine Walker (type species suffusa Walker).

The genus consists of a diverse array of pale brown, fawn or pinkish species with facies very much as in the Bornean example, differing from the next genus in the more distal position and sharper definition of the row of dark flecks (if present) on the forewing. The facies is an adaptation for crypsis in a grassy or reedy environment, paralleled in other grass-feeding noctuoid groups.

The genitalia of the type species were illustrated by Maes (1984a). Tymbal organs are present or absent (Dall'Asta, 1988). In the male, the simple, rather triangular uncus, smallish unmodified valves, broad saccus and ring-like juxta are seen also in the Bornean species, suffusa Walker. However, the vesica is globular, scobinate in the type species, but elongate with a row of larger spines in suffusa, with a long, scobinate one distally. This is reflected in differences in the females, where the ductus of suffusa is longer, narrower and more convolute than in coenosa, where it is short and moderate in width. The pseudopapillae are similarly narrow, however. The bursa lacks a signum in coenosa, but has a small, circular, finely scobinate sclerotised plate in a slight, irregular pocket in suffusa.

The larva of the type species is typically orgyiine and feeds on Gramineae and Cyperaceae (Carter & Hargreaves, 1986). Gardner (1938) also recorded Gramineae for two Indian species, and noted that the larvae were found under stones when not feeding, in one instance in a dry river-bed.

The genus is most diverse in tropical Africa and the Oriental Region, particularly where there is a seasonal, savannah climate, and extends east to Australia (two species) and into the Palaearctic.

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