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Eilema Hübner

Type species: caniola Hübner, Europe.

Synonyms listed by Hampson (1900) and in the BMNH card index that are not treated under the previous three genera (but see also Nielsen et al. (1996) and Leraut (1997): Aedoea Turner (type species monochroa Turner, Australia); Capissa Moore (type species vagesa Moore, India); Colinia Agenjo (type species lurideola Zincken); Collita Moore (type species griseola Hübner, Europe); Dolgoma Moore (type species reticulata Moore, India); Eucreagra Felder (type species arculifera Felder, South Africa); Gandhara Moore (type species serva Walker, Nepal); Kathia Moore (type species helvola Hübner, Europe = depressa Esper); Lophilema Aurivillius (type species sordida Aurivillius, Tanzania); Manulea Wallengren (type species gilveola Ochsenheimer, Germany = unita [Denis & Schiffermüller]); Prabhasa Moore (type species venosa Moore, India); Simareea Moore (type species basinota Moore, India); Systropha Hübner (type species aureola Hübner, Europe = sororcula Hufnagel) praeocc.; Tarika Moore (type species varana Moore, India); Wittia de Freina (replacement name for Systropha Hübner); Zadadra Moore (type species distorta Moore, India).

This genus and the synonyms listed include a miscellaneous assemblage of taxa, probably brought together on similarities of facies and venation by, for example, Hampson (1900) who listed 22 generic synonyms including the previous three genera and synonyms. Hampson overlooked Brunia Moore, placing its type species as a synonym of the African Eilema vicaria Walker, transferred to Ovenna Birket-Smith by Birket-Smith (1965), who also overlooked Brunia but restricted the synonymy of vicaria to Africa. Nielsen et al. (1996) excluded many of the genera listed above, partly following Birket-Smith (1965) who made the last serious attempt to revise the complex. Leraut (1997) followed different concepts and listed numerous synonyms under Eilema and Wittia.

Examination of the male and female genitalia of the type species of most of these genus-group names confirms the opinion of Birket-Smith (1965) that no current arrangement is entirely satisfactory, encompassing what might be considered natural groups of taxa. Birket-Smith (1965) redefined Eilema in a strict sense as having a strongly extended and looped but flimsy vinculum supporting a highly folded diaphragm that often incorporates hairs. Birket-Smith placed Teulisna as sister-genus to his concept of Eilema. No Bornean species fall within this concept, nor do any of the synonyms listed that are based on Oriental species, most of which Birket-Smith revived as good genera. Therefore the Bornean species that do not fall readily into Macotasa, Teulisna, Thysanoptyx or Brunia are placed in “Eilema” sensu lato with taxonomic notes on their relationships if apparent, until a more comprehensive survey of the Indo­Australian and Palaearctic faunas can be undertaken.

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