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Lemyra Walker

Type species: extensa Walker (Sulawesi).

W. Thomas (pers. comm.) has indicated that this genus should be used to include a number of rather delicate species currently placed in Spilosoma. He is currently revising the group.

The group has bodies that are relatively much less robust than those of Spilosoma species, particularly the abdomen which is relatively short. The forewing fasciation is made up of blocks of dark brown or grey in the spaces, rather than the black of Spilosoma, the antemedial less angled, more distal than in Spilosoma, often fusing with the sinuous postmedial over its posterior half; submarginal markings tend to be found near the most distal point reached by the postmedial, flanking vein M2. The thorax is unmarked apart from, in some species, a strong pink or yellowish tint to the margins of the patagia. The male antennae are black, bipectinate, without a subapical white zone on the flagellum.

The male abdomen has only slight modification of the eighth segment, and there are weak or no coremata at the base of the sternite. The valves of the genitalia are simple, relatively narrow, sometimes with a small lateral lobe. The aedeagus vesica is small, globular, with an extensive, even array of small spines over more than half of its surface; the aedeagus has no apical ornamentation. The juxta is broad, domed.

The female genitalia have no appendix bursae. The bursa is small, its base sclerotised and contiguous with a sclerotised ductus. The dorsal glands of the ovipositor lobes are long but unbranched.

There are two species from Borneo. Also a specimen from the Boisduval collection in the BMNH is associated with the Boisduval manuscript name 'borneensis'. The specimen belongs to the maculifascia Walker complex referred to Paralacydes by Holloway (1982: 217) but perhaps better associated with Lemyra (W. Thomas, pers. comm.), though the aedeagus vesica is unornamented. This complex extends from India to Australia, but its presence in Borneo requires confirmation. The ‘borneensis’ female specimen is illustrated in Plate 4, and may well be referable to maculifascia (Java).

The larva and cocoon of maculifascia were illustrated by Horsfield & Moore (1858-9). The former is grey with black saddles dorsally over each segment, in which there are pale spots. There is a fawn lateral band separated from the fawn ventrolateral region and venter by a narrow grey stripe. There are numerous secondary setae on verrucae. The host-plants given were Convolvulus (Convolvulaceae), Dioscorea (Dioscoreaceae) and Erythrina (Leguminosae).

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