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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sematuridae
Genus: Apoprogones
Hampson, 1903
Species: A. hesperistis
Binomial name
Apoprogones hesperistis
Hampson, 1903[1][2]
1 species
  • Genus
    • Oedimetopia Prout, 1916
  • Species
    • Oedimetopia jansei Prout, 1916[3]

Apoprogoninae is a subfamily of the moth family Sematuridae, represented by a single species[1] from Swaziland, South Africa.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

This species, Apoprogones hesperistis, is presumably the sister taxon of some or all South American Sematuridae but fresh collections are probably needed to use a DNA sequencing approach to this question.[4] The moth measures 4 cm. in wingspan and previously placed in the Castniidae (Shields and Dvorak, 1979) but it was recognised by A.J.T. Janse[5] (Janse, 1932) as belonging to this family.

Morphology and identification[edit]

A. hesperistis[1] has strongly clubbed or hooked antennae, like a butterfly, giving it a skipper-like appearance (Shields and Dvorak, 1979), hence the species name. The hindwing is not tailed, unlike Sematurinae which have the veins "M2" and "M3" in the hindwing bearing tails (Minet and Scoble, 1999). The adult male moth has a pair of "hair pencils" at the base of the abdomen. On the head (in contrast to Sematurinae) the ocelli are absent and the compound eyes not hairy; the wing venation differs between subfamilies and the forewing "M1" vein is "free" as opposed to sharing a "stalk" with vein "R1" in Sematurinae (Minet and Scoble, 1999). These and other structural differences have been enough for some authors to consider the African and American groups distinct at family level.



Apoprogoninae is an evolutionarily distinctive higher-level taxon which is geographically restricted and apparently not seen since its description in the early 1900s, and therefore merits dedicated conservation attention and new surveys.[6]



  • Minet, J. and Scoble, M. J. (1999) [1998] The Drepanoid/Geometroid Assemblage. Pp. 301–320 in Kristensen, N.P. (Ed.), 1999 [1998]. Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies. Volume 1, Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography. Handbook of Zoology, vol. IV, Arthropoda: Insecta, Part 35: 491 pp. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin and New York.
  • Janse, A.J.T. 1932. The Moths of South Africa, Vol. 1. Sematuridae and Geometridae. E.P. Commercial Printing Company, Durban. 376 pp.
  • Shields, O and Dvorak, S.K. 1979. Butterfly distribution and continental drift between the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa. Journal of Natural History, 13(2): 221-250.

External links[edit]