The now-extinct Sloan's urania Urania sloanus, from here.

Belongs within: Geometroidea.

The Uraniidae are a somewhat disparate group of moths united by the presence of sexually dimorphic tympanal organs on the abdomen.

Characters (from Nielsen & Common 1991): Small to large; head smooth scaled; ocelli absent; chaetosemata present, large; antennae thickened, dentate or pectinate in male, filiform in female; proboscis present, unscaled; maxillary palps minute, one-segmented; labial palps small, slender, upturned; epiphysis present; spurs 0-2-3 or 0-2-4; fore wing without wing-locking microtrichia, R5 well separated from other branches of R and usually forked with M1; CuP absent; 1A+2A sometimes with minute fork; hind wing with or without frenulum, with or without tails, M2 widely separate from M3, CuP absent, one or two anal veins; abdomen with dimorphic paired tympanal organs situated laterally between S2 and S3 in male and at base of S2 in female. Eggs of upright type. Larva with prolegs on segments 3-6 and 10, secondary setae few or absent, prothorax with two L setae, setae on raised pinacula, spiracles on prothorax and abdominal segment 8 much the largest; external feeder. Pupa with dense cover of fine punctures on abdomen, segments 5 and 6 movable, without dorsal spines, with pointed cremaster and divergent anal spines; in cocoon; not protruded at ecdysis.

    |  i. s.: Acropteris nanula P27
    |         Lobogethes interrupta P27
    |         Alcidis DS73
    |           |--A. agathyrsus DS73
    |           `--A. zodiaca DS73
    |         Nyctalemon DS73
    |           |--N. orontes P27
    |           `--N. patroclus DS73
    |                |--N. p. patroclus DS73
    |                `--N. p. macleayi [incl. N. p. goldiei] DS73
    |         Urania DS73
    |           |--U. croesus DS73
    |           |--U. fulgens DS73
    |           |--U. leilus DS73
    |           |--U. ripheus [incl. Chrysiridia madagascariensis] DS73
    |           `--U. sloanus DS73
    `--Epipleminae [Epiplemidae] GE05

*Type species of generic name indicated


[DS73] Dickens, M., & E. Storey. 1973. The World of Moths. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc.: New York.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

Nielsen, E. S., & I. F. B. Common. 1991. Lepidoptera. In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia, 2nd ed., vol. 2, pp. 817-915. Melbourne University Press.

[P27] Philpott, A. 1927. The maxillae in the Lepidoptera. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 721-746.


  1. couple of quick points:

    Urania currently has five (six?) species:
    U. boisduvalii
    U. sloanus
    U. poeyi
    U. fulgens
    U. leilus
    ?U. brasiliensis (sometimes considered ssp. of leilus)

    coresus and ripheus have long been transferred to a different genus, Chrysiridia

    Several genera and species are also missing … see Lees et al 1991: http://images.peabody.yale.edu/lepsoc/jls/1990s/1991/1991-45(4)296-Lees.pdf

  2. Thanks Vazrick. Most places on this site are, I'll admit, woefully incomplete; hopefully I'll be able to add to them over time. I've added the reference you gave me to my to-do list.


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