Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Lichenaula Meyrick, 1890

Lichenaula Meyrick, 1890, Descriptions of Australian Lepidoptera. Part I. Xyloryctidae. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia  13: 23–81 [24]. Type species: Lichenaula lichenea Meyrick, 1890 by subsequent designation, see Fletcher, T.B. 1929.
Lichenaula Meyr. Lower, 1895, A catalogue of Victorian Heterocera. Part xix. Victorian Naturralist 12: 149-152.
Lichenaula Meyr. Turner, 1898. The Xyloryctidae of Queensland. Ann. Qd Mus. 4: 1–32 [15].
Polynesa Turner, 1898 [Plutellidae]. Descriptions of new Microlepidoptera from Queensland. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia  22: 200–214 [201]. Type species: Polynesa maculosa Turner, 1898 by monotypy.
Lichenaula. Turner, 1900. New Micro-lepidoptera — mostly from Queensland. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia  24: 6–23 [8].
Lichenaula. Turner, 1902, New Australian Lepidoptera, Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia  26, 175-207 (196).
Lichenaula. Meyrick, 1905, Descriptions of Indian Micro-lepidoptera. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 16 (4): 580-618 (602).
Lichenaula. Tillyard, 1926, Insects of Australia and New Zealand. Sydney, Angus & Robertson, 1-560 [425].
Lichenaula. Philpott, 1927. The Maxillae in the Lepidoptera. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Vol. 57, 721-745 [735].
Lichenaula Meyrick 1890, junior subjective synonym of Phthonerodes Meyrick 1890 [Cryptophasidae]. Fletcher, T.B., 1929, A list of generic names used for Microlepidoptera. Memoirs of the Department of Agriculture in India, 11: 1–244 [126, 175].
Polynesa, Turner 1898 [? family unspecified, genus unrecognised] Fletcher, T.B., 1929, A list of generic names used for Microlepidoptera. Memoirs of the Department of Agriculture in India, 11: 1–244 [182]. [Synonymy not noted].
Lichenaula = syn Phthonerodes?. Diakonoff, 1954, Microlepidoptera of New Guinea. Results of the third Archbold Expedition (American-Netherlands Indian Expedition 1938-1939). Part 4. Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen 2 ser. 50(1): 1-191 [128].
Lichenaula. Common, 1963, Australian Moths, Jacaranda Press, 1-128 [52].
Lichenaula. Common, 1970, Lepidoptera (Moths and Butterflies), in The Insects of Australia, Melbourne University Press, 765-866 (822-823).
Lichenaula Meyrick, 1890. Common, 1990, Moths of Australia, Melbourne University Press. 227-230 [227].
Lichenaula Meyrick, 1890. Common, in Nielsen, Edwards, & Rangsi, 1996, Checklist of the Lepidoptera of Australia. Monographs on Australian Lepidoptera, 4: i-xiv, 1-529 & CD-ROM [87].
Lichenaula Meyrick, 1890. Beccaloni, G. W., Scoble, M. J., Robinson, G. S. & Pitkin, B. (Editors). 2003. The Global Lepidoptera Names Index (LepIndex). World Wide Web electronic publication. [accessed 22 April 2010].
Lichenaula Meyrick, 1890. Edwards, E. D. (2003), Xyloryctinae. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. [accessed 17 June 2010].

Original description, Meyrick 1890
Lichenaula, n. g.
Head smooth; ocelli absent; tongue well-developed. Antennae moderate, in male serrulate, ciliated ( ¼ - 2), basal joint moderate, without pecten. Labial palpi very long, recurved, second joint with appressed scales, terminal joint somewhat shorter than second, slender, acute. Maxillary palpi very short, appressed to tongue. Thorax smooth. Abdomen moderate. Posterior tibiae rough-haired above and beneath. Forewings with vein 1 furcate towards base, 2 from ¾, 3 from angle, 7 and 8 stalked, 7 to hindmargin or apex, 11 from middle. Hindwings over 1, trapezoidal-ovate, towards base below median and towards inner margin clothed with long hairs, 1b shortly furcate at base, 3 and 4 from a point or short-stalked, 5 parallel, 6 and 7 closely approximated at base, 8 connected with cell at a point before middle.
Synonymic description, Turner 1898
Polynesa, n. g.
Head smooth. Tongue well-developed. Antenna: three-fourths, in male filiform, moderately ciliated (one to one-half); basal joint without pecten. Labial palpi moderate, curved, ascending, second joint with appressed scales, terminal joint almost as long as second, rather stout, acute. Maxillary palpi rudimentary. Posterior tibiae smoothscaled. Forewings vein 2 from three-fourths, 6 and 7 stalked, 7 to hindmargin, 11 from middle. Hindwings ovate, broader than forewings, cilia one-third, veins 2 and 4 stalked, 5 present, 6 and 7 approximated at base.
Other references

[Crypsicharis] Doubtless an offshoot of Lichenaula. (Meyrick, 1890).

I regard this as the central and probably the largest genus of the family. Veins 6 and 7 of the hindwings are closely approximated at base, and it is not always easy to observe that they are really separate. This may often be most conveniently made evident by cautiously moistening the wing with spirit, and viewing it with a good lens by oblique light. In at least one species, L. choriodes, Meyr., these veins sometimes vary, in some abnormal specimens proceeding from a point or even being stalked. In the length of the antennal ciliations in the male and in the termination of vein 7 of the forewings, there is considerable variation. Nevertheless, I am of opinion that the genus
should not be divided. (Turner, 1898).

 [Arignota Turner] A connecting link between Lichenaula and Maroga, but distinguished from both by the thoracic crest. From Notosara, Meyr., [Depressariidae] it is distinguished by the palpi. (Turner, 1898).

[Illidgea] Distinguished from Xylorycta and Lichenaula by the antennae of the male. (Turner, 1898).

[Gonioma] A peculiar genus, interesting as forming to some extent a connecting link between Lichenaula and Uzucha. (Turner, 1898).

[Zauclophora] A development of Lichenaula, from which it is distinguished by the pectinated antennae of the male. From Cryptophaga it differs in the much longer palpi, more slender abdomen, and smoother anterior and middle tibiae. (Turner, 1900).

[Cryptophasa opalina] A very distinct and highly beautiful species. The extremely short antennal pectinations render it difficult to distinguish from Lichenaula. (Turner, 1900).

I may here remark that the large genera, Xylorycta and Lichenaula, are in an unsatisfactory position at present, and will need revision. The stalking or separation of veins 6 and 7 of the hindwings is certainly variable, in several species. (Turner, 1902).

Xylorycta Meyr.
I propose to widen the definition of the genus Xylorycta, so far as to unite with it the genera Lichenaula, Telecrates, Clerarcha, Plectophila, and Chalarotona. These were all published by me at the same time, and I select the name of Xylorycta for the resulting group because I made that typical of the family and therefore gave it precedence. The structural characters are thus extended in the following particulars : Antennal ciliations of ♂ variable (½ -3); 7 of forewings to apex or termen; 6 and 7 of hindwings approximated, connate, or stalked. (Meyrick 1905).

Good examples, of progressive reduction in the maxillary palpi are exhibited in this large family. Lichenaula has a five-segmented palp; the genera Telecrates, Odites, Procometis, Agriophora [sic], Chalarotona, Scieropepla, Eschatura, Uzucha, and Catoryctis have each lost a segment; Xylorycta and Maroga have only three remaining; Cryptophaga rubescens has two, with a third represented by a minute papilla, while in C. nubila this papilla has been lost. (Philpott, 1927).

Crypt.        Lichenaula, Meyrick 1890. (PHTHONERODES, Meyr.)
Tr. R. Soc. S. Austr. XIII 46: type [undulatella Wlk. =] lichenea, M. [E. Australia].
(Fletcher, 1929).

Crypt.        PHTHONERODES, Meyrick 1890.
T. R. Soc. S. Austr. XIII 44-45: type scotarcha M. [S. Australia].
                        Lichenaula, Meyr. 1890.
                        Tymbophora, Meyr. 1890.
                        Clerarcha, Meyr. 1890.
                        Xylorycta, Meyr 1890.
                        Chalarotona, Meyr. 1890.
                        Illidgea, Turner, 1897.
                        Neopdrepta, Turner, 1897.
(Fletcher, 1929).

As to the other surmised synonyms of Phthonerodes, Lichenaula Meyrick, 1890, may indeed be its synonym. Whether Clerarcha Meyrick, 1890, and Tymbophora Meyrick, 1890, are synonymous with Xylorycta will become clear after Mr. Clarke has published his studies. In that case Clerarcha has the priority of a few pages. Further names cited as synonyms by Fletcher are Chalarotorna [sic] Meyrick, 1890, Illidgea Turner, 1897, and Neodrepta Turner, 1897.  (Diakonoff, 1954).

The maxillary palpi have 4 segments in most genera, including Lichenaula (56 spp.)
Common, 1970).

Lichenaula with 28 described species is one of the larger genera. (Common, 1990).


Lichenaula lichenea, ♂ genitalia. Cronulla, NSW, 28  February 1952, collected by I.F.B. Common. ANIC slide no. G272, dissected by I.F.B. Common, 1959. Photomicrograph taken at ANIC, Canberra.

Lichenaula lichenea, aedeagus. Cronulla, NSW, 28  February 1952, collected by I.F.B. Common. ANIC slide no. G272, dissected by I.F.B. Common, 1959. Photomicrograph taken at ANIC, Canberra.

Immature stages:

Distribution: Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia. Endemic.

Remarks: Fletcher designated L. lichenea as the type species, believing it to be conspecific with L. undulatella, which clearly has priority. I think that once this confusion is cleared up, L. undulatella will clearly emerge as the source of the genotype.