View Image Gallery of Subfamily Oenochrominae

Scoble & Edwards (1989) proposed a stricter definition of the Oenochrominae to apply to a suite of robust-bodied Australian genera, with Sarcinodes Guenée as the only Oriental representative, reverting more or less to Guenée' s original concept of the group. Even so, these authors were pressed to recognise uniquely derived characters with which to circumscribe their strict concept, relying on general similarities of facies, wing venation and male genitalia structure, none of these offering any obviously derived characteristics.

In the male genitalia these authors noted that the fultura superior (sclerotisation of the diaphragm dorsal to the anellus) fuses with the transtilla (basal part of the valve costa) to form a rigid plate. In addition, Cook & Scoble (1992) suggested that the circular form of the lacinia and its orientation parallel to the tympanum in the tympanic bulla was an autapomorphy for these robust
Oenochrominae. The first feature is not apparent in Sarcinodes but the second, according to Cook & Scoble, is present.

In the female genitalia the signum, when present, is a single, small, circular patch of sclerotisation, somewhat as in those ennomines where it is reduced from the typical stellate, mushroom-like form.

Studies of larval characters undertaken so far (McFarland, 1988; Scoble & Edwards, 1989) do not offer any definitive features except the probable plesiomorphy of presence of a reduced pair of abdominal prolegs on segment A5 in some, but not all, robust Oenochrominae genera. However, in the pupa the cremastral hooks are reduced to a single apical pair, often divergent, in all the Australian genera (McFarland, 1988).

Host-plants recorded for the Australian genera are in the families Proteaceae or Myrtaceae (mostly Eucalyptus), with records also from Leguminosae (Acacia) and Sapindaceae (Dodonaea) for the genus Phalaria Guenée (McFarland, 1988).

Inclusion of Sarcinodes in this group, and possibly also the monobasic Moluccan and New Guinea genus Thaumatographe Warren, can be justified primarily on grounds of the shared tympanal feature, but also on general similarities of facies and build. The presence of a weak proleg on segment A5 of the larva (Sommerer, 1995, ex Stüning; Sugi, 1993) is consistent with this placement, although it is a plesiomorphic feature. The host-plant of the only Japanese species (see below) is Helicia, a genus of the Proteaceae that has its greatest diversity in New Guinea but is also widely distributed and well represented in the Oriental Region.

Thus, in biogeography, Sarcinodes reflects the ennomine Milionia Walker (Holloway, 1993[4]) and the larentiine Poecilasthena Warren (Holloway, 1970) in its association with a Gondwanan group of plants, extending across the Indo-Australian tropics. However, unlike Helicia, the other two moth genera, the southern conifers with which Milionia is associated and the Myrtaceae favoured by Poecilasthena, Sarcinodes has its greatest diversity in the Oriental Region rather than the Australasian.

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