What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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Hyblaeidae

Overview

The absence of tympanal organs, and the structural characters of both larvae and pupae separate the Hyblaeidae from both Pyraloidea and Noctuoidea. The larvae of Hyblaea puera feed on Verbenaceae, defoliating teak in Java and New Guinea, and in northern Australia are found on Vitex trifolia , living in shelters formed by folding the leaves. The uncus of the male is trifid, whereas in H . ibidias it is simple. The larvae of H . ibidias , with habits similar to those of H . puera , feed on Pandorea jasminoides in central and southern Qld.

Description

Medium-sized; head smooth-scaled; ocelli present; chaetosemata absent; antennae filiform; proboscis strong, naked; maxillary palps short, 3- or 4-segmented, with long scales; labial palps porrect, beak-like; epiphysis present; tibial spurs 0-2-0 in male, 0-2-4 in female, hind tibia in male with long projecting apical lobe and hair pencil which folds into a specialised, bladder-like appendage from the hind coxa, tarsi strongly spined beneath; fore wing with retinaculum in male a long slender hook on Sc, chorda and M stem absent from cell, all veins separate, M 2 arising nearer to M 3 than M 1 , CuP absent, 1A and 2A not fused, 1A strong, 2A sinuous and not reaching margin; hind wing with 3 frenular bristles in female, Sc fused with Rs near base of cell, thence divergent, M 2 arising nearer to M 3 than to M 1 , CuP a weak tubular vein near margin, 2 anal veins; tympanal organs absent; uncus simple or trifid. Eggs of flat type. Larva stout, without secondary setae, prothorax with 2 L setae, prolegs short, crochets bi- or triordinal in a circle; in shelter between joined leaves. Pupa stout, with distinct maxillary palps, antennae short, epicranial suture distinct, without dorsal abdominal spines, cremaster present; in silken cocoon among foliage, fallen leaves, or in soil.

Distribution

The small family with only 2 genera in tropical America and Indo-Australia, has previously been variously associated with the Noctuidae, Pyraloidea and even the Sesioidea.

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