Saccocera, Kallies, Axel, 2013

Kallies, Axel, 2013, New and little known Brachodidae from tropical Asia and Papua New Guinea (Lepidoptera, Cossoidea), Zootaxa 3641 (3), pp. 241-259: 246-247

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gen. nov.

Saccocera  gen. nov.

Type species: Miscera orpheus Kallies, 2004  ( Figs 4, 5View FIGURES 1 – 8, 11, 12View FIGURES 11 – 14)

Representatives of this genus were previously assigned to Miscera Walker, 1863  , although some doubt was expressed about that generic placement (Kallies 2004). With additional material from Asia and Papua New Guinea and more detailed knowledge of the Australian species of Miscera  (unpublished), it is now clear that these taxa belong to a new genus, which is described here. Two species are hereby transferred to Saccocera  , S. orpheus (Kallies, 2004)  comb. n. ( Figs 4, 5View FIGURES 1 – 8) and S. sauteri (Kallies, 2004)  comb. n., and another two species are described, Saccocera miangkabau  sp. nov. and Saccocera panaras  sp. nov.

Description. Small to medium sized moths, with alar expanses 16–27 mm. Head: male antennae relatively short (less than 1 / 3 length of forewing), prismatic, thickly covered with scales and with very short ciliae, subapically with a light region; female antennae similar but somewhat smoother; haustellum absent; labial palpus straight or slightly up-curved. Thorax: as in other brachodid genera. Abdomen: with faintly lighter or yellow posterior margins of sternites. Forewing: typically brown to black, in most species with indistinct yellow longitudinal streak through cell; remainder of forewing covered with loosely scattered yellow to light brown or grey individual scales that are occasionally white-tipped. Hindwing: with more or less extensive white or yellow markings subbasally. Ventral side of wings very similar to dorsal, but light markings more extensive. Venation similar to that of Synechodes  (comp. Heppner 1990).

Genitalia. Male ( Fig. 11View FIGURES 11 – 14). Uncus triangular, weakly developed, gnathos consisting of two lateral arms fused at tip, without hook-like extension (arrow), juxta asymmetrical, phallus with well-developed coecum penis. Female ( Fig. 12View FIGURES 11 – 14). Ovipositor short and wide (in comparison to Synechodes  , Fig. 14View FIGURES 11 – 14), with well-developed triangular pouchlike structure ventrally (arrow) and broad, well-developed papillae anales; ductus bursae short; corpus bursae small and weakly membranous.

Diagnosis. Externally, Saccocera  is characterized by the greatly reduced or altogether lost haustellum (welldeveloped in Synechodes  and Miscera  ) and the short antennae (longer in Synechodes  and Miscera  ). Species of Saccocera  typically have an indistinct yellow longitudinal streak along the lower edge of the discal cell of the forewing (absent in Synechodes  ) and usually lack the white-tipped individual scales that cover the forewings of Synechodes  . In the male genitalia, Saccocera  (known only for the type species, S. orpheus  , Fig. 11View FIGURES 11 – 14) can be distinguished from Synechodes  (illustrated for Synechodes agrippina Meyrick, 1930  , Fig. 13View FIGURES 11 – 14) by the reduced gnathos that lacks the hook-like extension; the asymmetrical juxta; the triangular, weakly developed uncus; and the well-developed coecum penis of the phallus. In the female genitalia, Saccocera  ( Fig. 12View FIGURES 11 – 14) can be distinguished from Synechodes  (illustrated for Synechodes andamanensis Kallies 2004  , Fig. 14View FIGURES 11 – 14) by the short and wide ovipositor (long and narrow in Synechodes  ), which bears a well-developed triangular pouch-like structure (lacking in Synechodes  ); the broad, well-developed papillae anales (smaller in Synechodes  ); and the small corpus bursae (larger in Synechodes  ).

Distribution. Species of this genus are known from Taiwan, Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and New Ireland ( Papua New Guinea).

Biology. The biology of Saccocera  species is unknown; however, species of the related genus Synechodes  are borers in the petioles or inflorescence of palms (Kallies 2004). The long, narrow, extensible ovipositor of Synechodes  suggests that females lay their eggs deep into crevasses, presumably at the base of the petioles. The short, wide, modified ovipositor of Saccocera  suggests a different behaviour.