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Scientific classification

Animalia > Arthropoda > Insecta > Lepidoptera > Ditrysia > Thyridoidea > Thyrididae > Striglininae > Rhodoneurini > Mellea

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Genus Mellea  Gaede, 1922

Type species: angustifasciata Gaede (1922: 34).

Generic description: Gaede's original generic description based on external morphology of the type species angustifasciata is particularly obscure. The publication of a new definition of the genus based on genitalic and other characters is needed.

However Mellea is probably a junior subjective synonym of Rhodoneura ms. gen. rev. (Shaffer, 1992,  LepIndex). It certainly shares the paired tarsal spines of the Rhodoneurini. For convenience it is retained here to designate a discrete group of related species, especially as Rhodoneura is already a very large ‘ragbag’ for species awaiting revision.

Opula (Walker, 1869) is distinguished externally from the very similar Mellea by the lack of paired spines on the tarsal segments and having male antennae with minute pectinations (Whalley 1971a: 84). The species below conform to this definition.

Mellea consists of about 30 Old World species with perhaps 5 reported from S.E.Asia (RTS:136), and many from New Guinea feeding on Macaranga (CATS [Accessed Sept. 2008]). The wings are richly patterned in dark brown on lighter brown with distinct broad fasciae often forming sinuous bands. They may have patches with a reticulated pattern or dark brown square spots.