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Getting Started


This Menu section contains advice and information to use the Identify: Images & Text Section, which is where the  295 species/morphotypes listed on this site can be identified. 


1. For those who are unfamiliar with thyridids and pyralids, for your 1st visit try proceeding as follows:

i) Read the notes below

i)  Study the Plates 1-10. Note that the same wing patterns can occur in more than one genus

ii)  Go to the Identify: Images & Text  Section


2.  For those already familiar with these taxa:

i) First read the  notes below

ii) Go straight to Identify: Images & Text


Contents of Menu Section 'Identify: Images & Text'


Species are arranged by subfamily and then by tribe following the taxonomic framework given in the Checklist Section (which is the same as in Plates 1- 10).. The named species are then further ordered alphabetically by genus. 


Each species has its own 'page', consisting of 1 large image and 1 thumbnail image,  text content arranged under a series of Tabs, and a Title Line . In this title line the binomial name (genus + species) comes 1st, followed by the author of the description (the 'authority') and the publication date of the original description, e.g 'Epaena candidatalis Swinhoe, 1905. 


Where the genus to which a species has been assigned by the original describer has subsequently been changed to another genus, the name of the original describer is usually given in brackets. In this work, following Holloway's The Moths of Borneo, this arrangement has not been observed, as the text makes the position clear that the genus named has changed.


In 53 cases, there is reference to the species in the book 'Smaller Moths of South-East Asia' by Robinson, Tuck and Shaffer (see Refs.), where each species has a number. We quote this e.g 'RTS #431' for Epaena candidatalis and if the species has not been definitely recorded in Borneo this is also noted on the title line by 'not Borneo', so the total line in this case is:  'Epaena candidatalis Swinhoe, 1905; RTS #431; not Borneo'


'not Borneo' is added where there is reason to believe, from the known disjunct distribution, that the species is likely to occur in Borneo. 'Not Borneo' species cannot be included in the upcoming pyralid website genera as there are too many of them. As it is, we expect to list some 2,000 species and morphotypes of pyrales]


Morphotypes: Only 57% of the taxa on this website have valid names. Unnamed series in museums or working private collections which look like clear species we designate as taxa at or near the species level. These are titled as, e.g. Calindoea sp.1; sp.2 and so on. Other morphotypes which may or may not be good species are treated the same way. Larger series of individuals, genitalia examination and DNA analysis are needed in these cases to establish if they are good species. Sometimes we include morphotypes which may prove to belong to be subspecies  or variants ('vars') of named species when more data is available


At the top of the species' page there is a Title Line on the right side and a series of Tabs on the left. Tabs 1-5 currently have content. The others are for future use.



Tab 1 is 'Taxonomy'.

The locality of the imaged specimen e.g. 'W. Malaysia, GTE.' (Genting Tea Estate) is given 1st, followed by particulars of the holotype e.g. 'The holotype of Hypolamprus venustus van Eecke, 1929:102; pl.12 fig. 5 is from Sumatra, Fort de Kock. Ms. comb. n. to Addaea (Shaffer, 1993 LepIndex).' Lepindex is a very important source of information for this website. For details please refer to the Menu Section - Introduction: LepIndex

Note that the old specimens have localities spelt in the colonial way e.g. 'Paloe' for 'Palu"


The exact location of many type specimens in the NHM is given by indicating the drawer number in the microlepidoptera collections. Following the relocation of the specimens into the newly built Darwin Centre 2 on the London, NHM, Cromwell Road Site and transfer of specimens into modern cabinets, the numbering system is in the process of changing to the form Mi xxxx where Mi represents the microlepidopteran collections and xxxx represent a unique four figure drawer number. The former system of indication of family code and drawer number is still in use for those groups not yet updated.


Tab 2 is Description beginning with wing length (base of the forewing to the apex), or range in mm. The wing pattern and colours are described, with other features useful for separating out the species. Where there is significant sexual dimorphism, details are given in the Plates and text.


Tab 3 is Distribution & Habitat. The geographic range, habitat types and altitude spread are given. It should be noted that the geographic range is most likely far from complete for most species due to lack of material. In the preamble to the Checklist the habitat categories used are listed.


Tab 4:  Life History & Pest Status. Only a few known major pests  are recorded amongst the thyridids. There are more amongst the pyralids. Hardly anything is known of the life history and food plants of the great majority of species. A rare insight into larval defence mechanisms will be found in Darling D.C. (2003). 'Morphology and behaviour of the larva of Calindoea trifascialis (Lepidoptera: Thyrididae), a chemically-defended retreat-building caterpillar from Vietnam'. Zootaxa, 225: 1-16. There is clearly much interesting work to be done on life histories and behaviour of thrydids.


Tab 5;  Similar spp.  Similar wing patterns recur in more than 1 genus. Easily confused species are listed here


Tab 6:  Images; unrelated look-alikes. A back-up to Tab 5, for future development


Tab 7:   References for this species. For references specific to this species entry. For future use 


Tab 8:   Genitalia images. Not yet loaded. Very few are available


Tab 9:    DNA bar code. DNA analysis for Bornean species is not available yet as far as we know. We hope this website will stimulate the collection of this type of data. On the world stage there is a good deal of exciting research. For a key summary see the 'Pyraloid Planet' newsletter for July 2013 relating to the work of Regier et al:
 'A molecular phylogeny for the pyraloid moths (Lepidoptera: Pyraloidea) and its implications for higher-level classification'. Full details of this paper can be found in our 'References' Menu Section.


There are more Tabs for future use. Although this is speculative for now, it may well be possible in the future to scan genitalia in 3D and then print out a solid (enlarged) replica on a 3D printer using CAD software. The technology is getting closer.


Navigating around a genus:  When you have looked at one species in a genus, you can shortcut to the others by clicking on the genus name in bold type at the end of the 'breadcrumb' at the top of each species' page, as in this example for the genus Mellea:- 

'Home > Identify: Images & Text > Thyrididae > Siculodinae > Rhodoneurini > Mellea'.

You will get a drop-down list of the other species in the genus. Click on 'more...' to go to details of the next species of your choice. Nb. pro tem, due to oversight, the genus name in the breadcrumb, when you have the screen with images of all the members of the genus, is not in bold

Navigating to the Section 'Identify Images & text' from anywhere on the site: Click on the red moth (Dysodia sp.) which occurs at the top of every screen.