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Hemithea Duponchel

Type species: aestivaria Hübner, Palaearctic.

Synonym: Lophocrita Warren (type species undifera Walker); Mixolophia Warren (type species ochrolauta Warren).

This genus, along with the next two and the Australasian Metallochlora Warren and Urolitha Warren, share unusual features of male and female genitalia: the ornamentation of the valve arises from the ventral interior and extends towards the base in a central, longitudinal declivity; there is a zone of setae on the lamella postvaginalis, often in a shallow pocket, just distal to the ostium. The bursa is usually small, immaculate, set on a short ductus. The genera are distinguished from each other on variation on this theme and facies features.

Hemithea species resemble those of Maxates Moore in having dentate white fasciae, often with the green colour deepened adjacent to them. The fasciae tend to be more broken, irregular, than in Maxates, and the wing margins are often reddish, slightly chequered with paler cilia in the spaces. The margins are crenulate, that of the hindwing with a central angle. The male antennae are ciliate (bipectinate in Maxates). There are setal patches on the third sternite.

In the male genitalia the valves are rather deep, the costa often rather bowed but never with acute processes or spurs. The most distal of the valve processes is often less sclerotised, more setose, and extends basad over the costal zone of the valve.

The larva is typical of the Hemitheiti in posture, slender build and bifid head capsule. Those of several Bornean species are described below and some are illustrated in Sugi (1987). There is a strong tendency towards flower-feeding. The type species has been recorded from a wide range of plant families (Nakajima & Sato, 1979): Araliaceae, Betulaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Ericaceae, Fagaceae,
Juglandaceae, Moraceae, Oleaceae, Pinaceae, Rosaceae, Rutaceae, Salicaceae and Theaceae.

The genus is diverse in the Indo-Australian tropics and extends also into temperate latitudes. There are no tropical African representatives. Three species were transferred into Hemithea from Episothalma Swinhoe. There are ten species in Borneo.

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