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Argina Hubner

Type species: cribraria Clerck (praeocc; = astrea Drury).

Synonyms: Lomaspilis Felder (praeocc., type species pantheraria Felder, S. Africa); Alytarchia Wallengren (type species amanda Boisduval, Africa); Xanthesthes Rambur (type species albocincta Rambur, Madagascar).

This genus and the next, with the African Amphicallia Aurivillius, probably form a natural group defined by multifasciate forewing patterning, these fasciae often broken into numerous spots, and a predilection for Leguminosae, particularly Crotalaria, in the larval diet.

The course of the rows of black spots in Argina and typical Utetheisa is very similar, sharing the peculiarity of having a short row of four or five spots distal to the cell-end between the postmedial and submarginal. But in Argina the intervening coloured spots (usually red in Utetheisa) expand virtually to fill the rest of the wing such that they form the ground colour. The hindwing has three or more black spots in addition to the discal spot interior to the hindwing border.

A definitive feature for the genus is seen in the males where the hindwing tornus is produced acutely and bears an elongate patch of dark scales; in Utetheisa there are sometimes modified scales set in a fold subdorsally but in the centre of the wing rather than at the margin.

The antennae are weakly bipectinate in the male, serrate in the female.

The male genitalia of the type species are as illustrated. The general configuration of the valves, the ornamentation of the aedeagus vesica, the juxta like an inverted V, and the fusion of the transtillae into a single narrow band are features shared with Utetheisa, as are elliptical 'windows' (less sclerotised) lateral to the apodemes of the basal abdominal sternite.

The female genitalia have the pair of ovipositor 'glands' broader, shorter than in Utetheisa and not apically bulbous; there are no small sclerites laterally between the seventh tergite and sternite, but a pair of pouches anterior to the tergite flanking the ostium; the tergite is not strongly bilobed as in Utetheisa. The bursa has a hooked, basally scobinate appendix that is not seen in Utetheisa, the two signa are asymmetrically placed (relatively close to each other rather than opposing, one set extremely distally) rather than opposite in the centre of the bursa; the signa are densely scobinate as in other Arctiinae.

The genus contains a few species in each of the African and Oriental tropics as well as the widespread type species.

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