Dioptid Moths


These mimetic moths are medium-sized (WS 3—4 cm), mostly broad-winged and more delicately structured than those in the other families. They are positively distinguished, however, only by the form of the hind wing vein branching as already described (see mimetic moths, above). The diurnal forms display bright colors, as do many night-flying species (e.g., Dioptis restricta, fig. 10.6d), although the majority of the latter tend to be drab insects.

There are about five hundred regional species. Their classification and biology are incompletely investigated (Prout 1918). The few known larvae have an outsized, rounded head and naked skin banded with varied colors. Food plants of Josia, one common genus, are Aristolochia and Passiflora. Pupae are well pigmented and chrysalidlike and either suspended naked from the posterior or attached to the inside of a sparsely woven cocoon amid live leaves on the host plant or in leaf litter on the ground.

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