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Sematura sp.Ex coll. Felix Stumpe
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Geometroidea
Family: Sematuridae
Subfamily: Sematurinae


 Species - see "Provisional list of species"

about 29[41] species

Sematurinae is a subfamily of moths in the family Sematuridae, represented by at least 29 species in the Neotropics.

Taxonomy, classification and identification[edit]

Sematurinae has three principal genera, and possibly another two. The hindwing of Coronidia is distinguished by an iridescent blue band,[1] but Homidiana characteristically has pink, orange or yellow markings,[2] especially in females (Minet and Scoble, 1999). The genus Sematura is large, brown and tailed, resembling to some extent the genus Lyssa. The approximately twelve other sematurid species in the genera Anurapteryx and Lonchotura are placed here for now (making about 41 species) but may not belong in this subfamily; one species, Anurapteryx crenulata reaches the subtropics of Arizona[3] (Minet and Scoble, 1999). The relationships within Sematuridae clearly need deeper investigation.

  • Note: the name Nothus is preoccupied by a genus of Coleoptera[4] so despite its lack of date precedence the name Sematura should be preferred (Minet and Scoble, 1999). Mania was however described at an earlier date (1821; 1823 listed in LepIndex) than Sematura according to Index Animalium[5] so whilst this is not a name in popular use, the priority issue should be further examined.


The adult moths of Sematurinae are either day or night-flying, depending on the genus and have the wings outspread at rest and the genus Sematura displays impressive eyespots at the hindwing tails.[6]


The biology of Sematurinae is so far poorly known. The larva of Homidiana was illustrated by Westwood (1879) who incorrectly placed it among Coronidia, and was described by Fassl (1910). In 1995–1998, caterpillars were found in Costa Rica.[7] Sematurine eggs have been described by Minet and Scoble (1999:302), and are upright, high, with vertical and finer transverse ribs. The caterpillars of Homidiana subpicta have rows of black spines either side of the dorsal midline and five pairs of prolegs.[8] The larva of Coronidia orithea lacks such spines, and is well camouflaged like a lichen-covered twig[9] and has realistic-looking false eyes making it resemble a predatory spider.[10] The larvae of Sematura were reared in Costa Rica in 2001 and are a bit similar to those of Coronidia being well camouflaged but bearing small projections rather than long spines one the dorsal surface.[11] Like some Uraniidae, pupation occurs on the ground among debris. The pupa of Homidiana has a long projecting proboscis "sheath"[12] with eight hooklets at the cremaster tip (Minet and Scoble, 1999).

Larval hostplants[edit]

The caterpillar of Coronidia orithea is so far only known to feed on mistletoes (Viscaceae: Phoradendron quadrangulare). Homidiana subpicta feeds on a more diverse range of plants, including the families Araliaceae (Oreopanax), Gesneriaceae, Piperaceae (Piper), Primulaceae (Ardisia, Myrsine), Solanaceae (Solanum), Onagraceae (Ludwigia) and Theophrastaceae (Clavija).[13] "Sematura luna"[14] reared in 2001 whose well-camouflaged larva is reported to feed on the legume Pentaclethra macroloba (Mimosoideae) and on Syzygium longifolium (Myrtaceae).


  • Fassl, A.H. (1910). Die Raupe einer Uranide. Z. wiss. InsektBiol, 6(10): 355.
  • 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.
  • Westwood, J.O. 1879. Observations on the Uraniidae, a family of Lepidopterous Insects, with a Synopsis of the Family and a Monograph of Coronidia, one of the genera of which it is composed. Transactions of the Zoological Society, 10(12): 1–35, 3 plates.


  • NHM Lepindex
  • Dyer, L.A. and G.L. Gentry. 2002. Caterpillars and parasitoids of a tropical lowland wet forest,, Accessed, March 2007.


  1. ^ (2007-01-27). "". Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  2. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  8. ^[dead link]
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^[dead link]
  12. ^[dead link]
  13. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  14. ^ Archived November 5, 2004 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

Provisional list of species (based on LepIndex)[edit]