Sphingognatha strix, copyright Eric van Schayck.

Belongs within: Macroheterocera.
Contains: Anthelinae, Sphingidae, Saturnioidea, Bombyx, Apatelodidae, Janinae, Striphnopteryginae, Eupterote.

The Bombycoidea are a diverse group of moths with broad wings and often strongly pectinate antennae. The frenulum is typically reduced or absent with the humeral area of the hind wing wing being expanded (Richards & Davies 1977). Many bombycoids do not feed as adults and have the proboscis reduced or absent.

Representatives of the Bombycoidea include the Anthelidae, a group of moths restricted to Australia and New Guinea whose larvae feed on a variety of plant hosts, including Eucalyptus and Acacia species. The Eupterotidae are a primarily Old World family whose larvae bear dense, often branched secondary setae (Nielsen & Common 1991). The Bombycidae, silk moths, are a group of mostly large moths found in the Old World that encase themselves in a dense woven cocoon when pupating. The Brahmaeidae are another group of large moths found in the Old World tropics.

Characters (from Nielsen & Common 1991): Medium sized to large; ocelli and chaetosemata absent; antennae often bipectinate, at least in male; maxillary palps small or absent; wings often broad; body stout, clothed with long hair-scales; tympanal organs absent. Egg of flat type, smooth. Larva with dense secondary setae, usually on verrucae, or with sparse setae, or scoli (fleshy processes bearing secondary setae), often with dorsal projection on abdominal segment 8, crochets usually biordinal in a mesoseries; feeding exposed in daytime. Pupa stout, usually in cocoon of silk sometimes mixed with larval hairs; not protruded at ecdysis.

    |  |    |--Endromis versicolorRD77
    |  |    |--Mustilizans dierliKP19
    |  |    `--Mirina christophiRD77
    |  `--+--+--SphingidaeKP19
    |     |  `--SaturnioideaKP19
    |     `--BombycidaeONE03
    |          |  i. s.: Ocinara Walker 1856NO08a
    |          |         Elachyophthalma Felder 1861 [incl. Calapterote Holland 1900]NO08a
    |          |           `--E. butleri (Holland 1900) [=*Calapterote butleri]NO08a
    |          |         Gastridiota Turner 1922NO08a
    |          |           `--*G. adoxima (Turner 1902) [=Andraca adoxima]NO08a
    |          |         Sesquiluna Forbes 1955 [incl. Theophoba Fletcher & Nye 1982]NO08a
    |          |           |--*S. albilunata (Hampson 1910) [=Andraca albilunata]NO08a
    |          |           `--S. pendulans (Mell 1958) [=*Theophoba pendulans]NO08a
    |          |         Theophila huttoniP01
    |          |         CollaKP19
    |          |         Callochlora Packard 1864E00
    |          |         Liparis rebuti Poujade 1889P89
    |          |         TearaL90
    |          |           |--T. argentosa Lucas 1890L90
    |          |           |--T. barnardi Lucas 1890L90
    |          |           |--T. contrariaF96
    |          |           |--T. protrahens Lucas 1890L90
    |          |           `--T. tristisF96
    |          |--BombyxKP19
    |          |--Spanochroa Felder & Felder 1874 [Epiinae]NS07
    |          |    `--*S. blandiatrix Felder & Felder 1874NS07
    |          `--PrismostictinaeNO08a
    |               |--Mustilia Walker 1865NO08a
    |               |--Prismosticta Butler 1880NO08a
    |               |--Pseudandraca Miyata 1970NO08a
    |               |--Oberthueria Staudinger 1892NO08a
    |               `--Andraca Walker 1865 [incl. Pseudoeupterote Shiraki 1911]NO08a
    |                    |--*A. bipunctata Walker 1865NO08a
    |                    `--‘Oreta’ theae Matsumura 1909 [=*Pseudoeupterote theae]NO08a
          |    |--Sabalia Walker 1865ONE03
          |    `--Lemonia Hübner 1820ONE03
          |         `--L. dumiRM01
          |    |--Dactyloceras Mell 1930ONE03
          |    |--Spiramiopsis Hampson 1901ONE03
          |    |--Acanthobrahmaea europaeaRM01
          |    `--Brahmaea Walker 1855KP19, ONE03
          |         |--B. certhia (Fabricius 1797)B66a (see below for synonymy)
          |         |--B. hearseyanaB66b [incl. B. whitei Butler 1866B66b, B66a]
          |         |--B. japonica Butler 1873 [incl. B. mniszechii Felder & Felder 1874]NS07
          |         |--B. lucina [=Phalaena attacus lucina, Bombyx lucina, Saturnia lucina]B66a
          |         `--B. lunulata Bremer 1852 [incl. B. petiveri Butler 1866, Saturnia undulata Bremer 1853]B66b
               |--‘Hemijana’ variegata Rothschild 1917NO08a
               |--Pandala Walker 1855NO08a
               |    `--*P. dolosa Walker 1855NO08a
               |--Melanothrix Felder & Felder 1874NO08a
               |    `--M. nymphaliaria (Walker 1866) [=Gnophos nymphaliaria; incl. *M. pulchricolor Felder & Felder 1874]NO08a
               |--Pseudoganisa Schultze 1910NO08a
               |    `--*P. currani Schultze 1910 [incl. Apha gonioptera (West 1932)]NO08a
               |--Ganisa Walker 1855NO08a
               |    |--*G. postica Walker 1855NO08a
               |    `--G. similisKP19
               |--Pseudojana Hampson 1893NO08a
               |    |--*P. incandescens (Walker 1855) [=Jana incandescens]NO08a
               |    `--P. clemensi Schultze 1907ONE03
               |--Poloma Walker 1855 [incl. Sarvena Walker 1865]NO08a
               |    |--*P. angulata Walker 1855NO08a (see below for synonymy)
               |    `--P. nahor (Druce 1896) [=Phasicnecus nahor, Stenoglene nahor]NO08a
               |--Preptos Schaus 1892NO08a
               |    |--*P. oropus Schaus 1892 [incl. P. norax Druce 1893]NO08a
               |    `--P. hidalgoensis Beutelspacher-B. 1983NO08a
               |--Neopreptos Draudt 1930NO08a
               |    |--*N. clazomenia (Druce 1886) [=Coloradia clazomenia]NO08a
               |    `--N. marathusa (Druce 1886) [=Coloradia marathusa]NO08a
               |--Apona Walker 1856 [incl. Pachyclea Gistel 1857]NO08a
               |    |--‘Gastropacha’ caschmirensis Kollar in Kollar & Redtenbacher 1844 (see below for synonymy)NO08a
               |    |--A. gyraleus (Orhant 2000) [=Ganisa gyraleus]NO08a
               |    `--A. ligustri (Mell 1930)NO08a
               |--Apha Walker 1855 [incl. Preptothauma Draudt 1931]NO08a
               |    |--*A. subdives Walker 1855NO08a
               |    |--‘Brachytera’ aequalis Felder & Felder 1874NO08a
               |    |--A. floralis Butler 1881NO08a
               |    `--*Preptothauma’ oxydiata Draudt 1931NO08a
               |--Panacela Walker 1865 (see below for synonymy)NO08a
               |    |--*P. rufescens Walker 1865NO08a
               |    |--P. lewinae (Lewin 1805) (see below for synonymy)NO08a
               |    |--P. nyctopa (Turner 1922) [=*Mallodeta nyctopa]NO08a
               |    `--P. syntropha Turner 1922ONE03
               `--Eupterotinae [Cotanini]NO08a
                    |--Palirisa Moore 1884NO08a
                    |    `--*P. lineosa (Walker 1855) [=Jana lineosa]NO08a
                    |--Dreata Walker 1855NO08a
                    |    `--*D. hades Walker 1855NO08a
                    |--Rarisquamosa Bethune-Baker 1910NO08a
                    |    `--*R. arfaki Bethune-Baker 1910NO08a
                    |--Sangatissa Moore 1883NO08a
                    |    `--*S. subcurvifera (Walker 1865)NO08b [=Dreata subcurviferaNO08b, Messata subcurviferaNO08a]
                    |--Nisaga Walker 1855NO08a
                    |    |--*N. simplex Walker 1855NO08a
                    |    `--N. rufescens Hampson 1895NO08a
                    |--Paracydas Bethune-Baker 1908NO08a
                    |    |--*P. biagi Bethune-Baker 1908NO08a
                    |    `--P. postpallida Rothschild 1917NO08a
                    |--Lasiomorpha Joicey & Talbot in Joicey et al. 1916NO08a
                    |    |--*L. noakesi Joicey & Talbot in Joicey et al. 1916NO08a
                    |    `--L. meeki (Rothschild 1917)NO08a
                    |--Melanergon Bethune-Bake 1904NO08a
                    |    `--M. vidua (Walker 1865) [=Cotana vidua; incl. *M. proserpina Bethune-Baker 1904]NO08a
                    |         |--M. v. viduaNO08a
                    |         `--M. v. fergussonis Rothschild 1917NO08a
                    |--Cotana Walker 1865 (see below for synonymy)NO08a
                    |    |--*C. rubrescens Walker 1865 [incl. *Nervicompressa unistrigata Bethune-Baker 1904]NO08a
                    |    |--*Hypercydas’ calliloma Turner 1903NO08a
                    |    |--‘Nervicompressa’ albomaculata Bethune-Baker 1904 [incl. *Epicydas ovata Bethune-Baker 1908]NO08a
                    |    `--C. serranotata (Lucas 1894)ONE03
                    `--Sphingognatha Felder & Felder 1874NO08a
                         |--*S. asclepiades Felder & Felder 1874NO08a
                         |--‘Pseudojana’ pallidipennis Hampson 1895NO08a
                         |    |--P. p. pallidipennisNO08a
                         |    `--P. p. grandis Rothschild 1917NO08a
                         `--S. strix (Bryk 1944) [=Apha strix]NO08a
Bombycoidea incertae sedis:
  Carthaea Walker 1858ONE03 [CarthaeidaeNC91]
    `--C. saturnioidesNC91
    |  i. s.: Omphaliodes Felder & Felder 1874ONE03
    |         Nataxa flavescens (Walker 1865) [incl. Dicreagra ochrocephala Felder & Felder 1874]NS07
         |--Gephyroneura Turner 1920NC91, ONE03
         `--Munychryia Walker 1865ONE03
              `--M. senicula Walker 1865 [incl. Hypochroma nyssiata Felder & Rogenhofer 1875]NS07

Brahmaea certhia (Fabricius 1797)B66a [=Bombyx certhiaB66a; incl. Bo. spectabilis Hope 1841B66a, Bo. wallichii Gray 1832B66a, Brahmaea wallichiiDS73]

Cotana Walker 1865 [incl. Epicydas Bethune-Baker 1908, Hypercydas Turner 1903, Nervicompressa Bethune-Baker 1904]NO08a

‘Gastropacha’ caschmirensis Kollar in Kollar & Redtenbacher 1844 [=*Pachyclea caschmirensis; incl. *Apona pallida Walker 1856]NO08a

Panacela Walker 1865 [incl. Lewinibombyx Strand 1929, Mallodeta Turner 1922 non Butler 1876, Semuta Walker 1865; Panacelinae]NO08a

Panacela lewinae (Lewin 1805) [=Bombyx lewinae, *Lewinibombyx lewinae, Ocinara lewinae; incl. *Semuta pristina Walker 1865]NO08a

*Poloma angulata Walker 1855NO08a [incl. *Sarvena incompta Walker 1865NO08a, Homochroa janula Felder & Felder 1874NS07]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B66a] Butler, A. G. 1866a. Note on the genus Brahmaea of Walker. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 118–121.

[B66b] Butler, A. G. 1866b. Corrections and addenda to certain papers on Lepidoptera published during the years 1865–66; with additional notes on some of the species described. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 451–458.

[DS73] Dickens, M., & E. Storey. 1973. The World of Moths. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.: New York.

[E00] Engel, M. S. 2000. Classification of the bee tribe Augochlorini (Hymenoptera: Halictidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 250: 1–89.

[F96] Froggatt, W. W. 1896. On the bag-shelters of lepidopterous larvae of the genus Teara. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 21 (2): 258–260, pl. 14.

[KP19] Kawahara, A. Y., D. Plotkin, M. Espeland, K. Meusemann, E. F. A. Toussaint, A. Donath, F. Gimnich, P. B. Frandsen, A. Zwick, M. dos Reis, J. R. Barber, R. S. Peters, S. Liu, X. Zhou, C. Mayer, L. Podsiadlowski, C. Storer, J. E. Yack, B. Misof & J. W. Breinholt. 2019. Phylogenomics reveals the evolutionary timing and pattern of butterflies and moths. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 116 (45): 22657–22663.

[L90] Lucas, T. P. 1890. On Queensland and other Australian macro-Lepidoptera, with localities, and descriptions of new species. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 4 (4): 1065–1099.

[NO08a] Nässig, W. A., & R. G. Oberprieler. 2008a. An annotated catalogue of the genera of Eupterotidae (Insecta, Lepidoptera, Bombycoidea). Senckenbergiana Biologica 88 (1): 53–80.

[NO08b] Nässig, W. A., & R. G. Oberprieler. 2008b. Errata et addenda. Senckenbergiana Biologica 88 (2): 124.

[NS07] Nässig, W. A., & W. Speidel. 2007. On the authorships of the Lepidoptera Atlas of the “Reise der Novara”, with a list of the taxa of Bombycoidea [s. l.] therein described (Insecta, Lepidoptera, Bombycoidea). Senckenbergiana Biologica 87 (1): 63–74.

[NC91] Nielsen, E. S., & I. F. B. Common. 1991. Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia: A textbook for students and research workers 2nd ed. vol. 2 pp. 817–915. Melbourne University Press: Carlton (Victoria).

[ONE03] Oberprieler, R. G., W. A. Nässig & E. D. Edwards. 2003. Ebbepterote, a new genus for the Australian ‘Eupterote’ expansa (T. P. Lucas), with a revised classification of the family Eupterotidae (Lepidoptera). Invertebrate Systematics 17: 99–110.

[P01] Pável, J. 1901. Lepkék [Lepidopteren]. In: Horváth, G. (ed.) Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazása [Dritte Asiatische Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] vol. 2. Zichy Jenő Gróf Harmadik Ázsiai Utazásának Állattani Eredményei [Zoologische Ergebnisse der Dritten Asiatischen Forschungsreise des Grafen Eugen Zichy] pp. 171–177. Victor Hornyánszky: Budapest, and Karl W. Hierseman: Leipzig.

[P89] Poujade, G.-A. 1889. Description d’un bombycide nouveau de Madagascar. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 6e série 9: lxiii–lxiv.

[RM01] Regier, J. C., C. Mitter, T. P. Friedlander & R. S. Peigler. 2001. Re: phylogenetic relationships in Sphingidae (Insecta: Lepidoptera): initial evidence from two nuclear genes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 20 (2): 311–316.

[RD77] Richards, O. W., & R. G. Davies. 1977. Imms’ General Textbook of Entomology 10th ed. vol. 2. Classification and Biology. Chapman and Hall: London.

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