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Phazaca Walker

Type species: erosioides Walker.

Synonyms: Balantiucha Turner (type species microthyris Turner, Thursday I. (Australia)) syn. n.; Dirades Walker (type species binotata Walker, Sri Lanka) syn. n.; Diradopsis Warren (type species perfallax Warren, Kei Is.) syn. n.;
Homoplexis Warren (type species plenimargo Warren, New Guinea) syn. n.; Lobogethes Warren (type species interrupta Warren, Queensland) syn. n.

The concept of Phazaca is here broadened to embrace sexually dimorphic species with particular (though variable in terms of venation reduction in the anal area) modification of the male hindwing and features of the male genitalia. The female genitalia resemble those of Monobolodes, having a single stellate signum, though less robust (reduced in erosioides and lost in some other species such as mutans Butler), with finer, smaller spines: the bursa is globular, the ductus very long and narrow. The male antennae are narrowly, densely unipectinate, lamellate.

Whilst the female hindwing is usually of the characteristic two-tailed type, that of the male is more rounded, with tails vestigial or absent. The space between Sc and Rs is broader than typical, Rs sometimes stalked with M1, M2 is weak, set posteriorly, and there is occasionally only one branch of CuA from the cell: between CuA and the anal vein is a zone of dense scaling or a hair-pencil in a pouch dorsally. The costal margin is often bowed, or sinuous, with a fringe of long scales on the more basal expansion. The female has a wide space between Sc and Rs, but there are the usual two branches from CuA, and there are two anal veins. The postmedial of the male hindwing is usually more rounded than that of the female which has a more typical epiplemine central angle.

The male genitalia have a distinctive shape to the valve, with the more basal, saccular portion separated from the distal part by a constriction and bearing a basal hair-pencil and sometimes a smaller one above it. The valves and the genitalia in entirety are elongate, as is the aedeagus, itself supported by a long, strap-like juxta that is somewhat urn-shaped. The uncus is simple, with lateral flanges basally that may represent a remnant of the juxta. The valve transtillae are well developed and meet centrally.

The larva (photographs from Taiwan by S.-H. Yen) is usually irregularly mottled in black, brown and white, with the black predominant. The primary setae are strong, set on chalazae, giving the larva a rather knobbly appearance.

Host-plants recorded for members of this extended concept of Phazaca are all from the Rubiaceae (Browne, 1968; Yunus & Ho, 1980; Miyata, 1983; Common, 1990; Bell, MS; Chen, 1997; S.-H. Yen, in litt; unpublished records, IIE and BMNH): Adina, Burttdavya, Canthium, Cinchona, Gardenia, Morinda, Plectronia, Randia, Tarenna, Timonius, Vangueria, Wendlandia.

The adult has a distinctive resting posture with the forewings scrolled, held out at right-angles to the body axis, level with the substrate, and the hindwings enfolding the abdomen.

The genus is most diverse in the Indo-Australian tropics, and represented in the Afrotropical Region by P. theclata Guenée comb. n. (Janse, 1932).

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