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The Thyrididae comprise about 1000 species of small to medium-sized moths(wingspan 12-72 mm; Common 1990) found mainly in lowland forests of the tropics and subtropics (Dugdale et al. 1999). The adults are nocturnal, and come readily to lights. They typically rest in a distinctive posture, with the front of the body raised high off the substrate and the wings outstretched, as in these pictures from jp.moths. Thyridids have a general resemblance to Pyraloidea, and in previous classifications were often included in that superfamily. However, they lack the abdominal tympanal organs, and the scaling at the base of the proboscis, that characterize pyraloids.The wings (Dugdale et al. 1999) are most often broad and cryptically colored, often red or brown, sometimes with translucent spots or patches. The markings are often similar between hind and fore wings, and between upper and lower sides of the wings, as in many species of Banisia.
Thyrididae are currently divided into four subfamilies, as follows (Dugdale et al. 1999).
The Striglinae, consisting of about 200 species, are found throughout the tropics. Among the largest genera are Banisia (see above) and Striglina.
The Thyridinae include about 115 species. Many of these are stout-bodied, typically-patterned moths in the genus Dysodia. A few thyridines, however, such as the palearctic genus Thyris, have slender, narrow-winged, brightly colored, day-flying adults. Some such species may be aposematic (warningly-colored) and distasteful, e.g. the Oriental Asian Glanychus insolitus, pictured here.The Siculodinae are the largest subfamily, with over 400 species divided into three tribes, Siculodini, Argyrotiypini and Rhodneurini (Dugdale et al. 1999). Among the included genera are Microsca, pictured here, and Rhodoneura.
The Charideinae were moved to Thyrididae by Minet (1991) from their former placement in Zygaenidae. They comprise 20 species of narrow-winged, day-flying Afrotropical moths, with bright metallic colors as in this picture of Arniocera auriguttata (click on thumbnail to get larger image).