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Ebbepterote, a new genus for the Australian Eupterote expansa , with a revised classification of the family Eupterotidae


, : Ebbepterote, a new genus for the Australian Eupterote expansa , with a revised classification of the family Eupterotidae. Invertebrate Systematics 17(1): 99-110

The single and endemic species of Eupterote Huebner recorded from Australia is shown not to possess the male genitalia typical of this genus, nor of any other genus of Eupterotidae, and it is consequently placed in a new genus, Ebbepterote Oberprieler, Naessig & Edwards, as E. expansa (T. P. Lucas, 1891), comb. nov. Its genitalia are compared with those of many Asian and African genera of Eupterotidae, resulting in a revised classification and redefinition of the major eupterotid lineages. Five groups are defined: a probably paraphyletic 'basal' Ganisa-group and likely monophyletic subfamilies Janinae (including Tissanga Aurivillius and Hibrildes Druce), Striphnopteryginae, Eupterotinae and Panacelinae. Ebbepterote and the New Guinean 'Eupterote' styx Bethune-Baker species-complex are included in Striphnopteryginae, which is otherwise restricted to Africa. Cotana Walker is reassigned to Eupterotinae from Panacelinae and Sphingognatha Felder is resurrected from synonymy with Eupterote. The genitalia of Ebbepterote and several other critical genera are illustrated, demonstrating that the shape of the uncus does not constitute a suitable synapomorphy for defining the Eupterotidae as a monophyletic group. Another alleged eupterotid synapomorphy, the presence of a row of midventral spurs on the apical tarsal segment of the hindleg of the female, is shown to occur only sporadically in the family but also outside of it, in the lemoniid-brahmaeid-sphingid clade of Bombycoidea. As a result, the monophyly of the Eupterotidae currently rests only on a single, cryptic character of the mesoscutum of the imago and is in urgent need of substantiation.

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