JosiaJames S. Miller and Andrew V. Z. Brower
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The genus Josia was formerly included a heterogeneous assemblage of 67 superficially similar species, but has been circumscribed to include a monophyletic group of only 21 species by Miller (2009). The remaining species have been removed to Lyces, Ephialtias, Proutiella, and other related genera. Josia spp. occur from Mexico to Uruguay, and may be the most common dioptines. Life histories of ten species are known, and all feed on Passiflora, except for the megeara clade, whose larvae feed on Turnera.
Josia spp. almost all have wings with characteristic radial orange bands on a black background, and orange stripes on the abdominal pleura. The abdominal venter is usually white or cream-colored. There are structural features of the wing venation, labial palpi and genitalia that distinguish Josia from related genera, as well. Venation of J. mononeura and J. ligula are illustrated below.
Josia mononeura (left) and Josia ligula (right). © 2009 James S. Miller
Species groups in Josia may be distinguished as follows:
- the ligula group exhibits diverse wing patterns, but all possess a unique process on the midpoint of the costa of the male valvae
- the ligata group all possess yellow-orange scales on the basal half of the forewing costal margin
- the aurifusa group all exhibit an orange anal margin of the hindwing
- the megeara group exhibits a distal transverse orange band and basal radial stripe on the forewings, forming two separate pattern elements
Miller, JS. 2009. Generic revision of the Dioptinae (Lepidoptera: Noctuoidea: Notodontidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 321, 1-971 + 48 plates.
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to James S. Miller at and Andrew V. Z. Brower at
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- First online 04 December 2009
- Content changed 04 December 2009
Citing this page:
Miller, James S. and Andrew V. Z. Brower. 2009. Josia http://tolweb.org/Josia/138591/2009.12.04 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 04 December 2009 (under construction).