Australian Biological Resources Study

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[After Shaffer 1996]
The family was erected by Meyrick in 1932 for his species Macropiratis halieutica. An older name, Agdistopis Hampson, 1917, was originally described in the Pyralidae, subfamily Galleriinae. Whalley (1964a) synonymised the genera and transferred them to the Pterophoridae. Macropiratidae are known from Australia from the single species Agdistopis halieutica (Meyrick, 1932), described from Fiji and extending west to New Guinea and Australia. The genus contains two further species, sinhala Fletcher from Asia and griveaudi Gibeaux from Madagascar.

Many specialists did not accept Agdistopis as belonging to the Pterophoridae as the species lack the erect modified scales on the underside of the hindwing. Minet (1991) assigned the group as the Macropiratinae to the Pterophoridae, even though, as he stated, it differs from the remaining pterophorids in lacking two important derived features. Gielis (1993) has, however, treated the group with family status within the Pterophoroidea, where it is retained here. Externally Agdistopis bears a striking resemblance to the true pterphorid genus Agdistis, a genus not represented in Australia, and can only be satisfactorily distinguished by dissection of the genitalia and by the lack of the modified scales of the hindwing.

The single foodplant record known comes from a specimen from the Northern Territory where an adult emerged from fruit of Secamone elliptica. The moth is also recorded from Queensland.

Further studies are needed on this genus, dissections may well indicate that there are additional species mixed in with both the sinhala and the halieutica series.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
11-May-2011 11-May-2011 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)