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Nishada Moore

Type species: flabrifera Moore, India.

Synonym: Petalopleura Meyrick (type species phaeocephala Meyrick, New Guinea = impervia Walker).

Nishada species are, with a few exceptions, largely unmarked beige or yellowish moths with rather deep forewings and, relative to them, short hindwings. The shortness of the hindwings is more developed in males where the subcostal area is expanded and androconial. The wing venation is illustrated in Figs 2f, g.

Fig 2f: Nishada sambara Walker 

Fig 2g: Nishada syntomioides Walker

The male abdomen typically has several distinctive features, such as a paired pouched structure on the third tergite, a small eighth segment with a reinforced basal margin and, on the valves of the male genitalia, a massive spine-like process arising from the costa subbasally. The aedeagus is slender, typically without cornuti.

The female genitalia have the ductus long, narrow, with the ductus seminalis arising distally from it. The corpus bursae is mostly spherical but may have a neck continuing from the ductus. There are two small, sharply umbonate signa.

The genus extends throughout the Indo-Australian tropics.

The life history of the type species in Java was described and illustrated by Piepers & Snellen (1904). It is black dorsally and light grey ventrally, with brown warts laterally on each segment. The body is covered densely with black hairs, and there is a brush of longer hairs on each side of T1. The intersegmental membranes are milky-white, seen mainly when the larva crawls, particularly between the anterior abdominal segments.

The host-plant is a species of moss that grows on moist walls. Pupation is in a loose cocoon and takes ten days to emergence of the adult.

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