Grehan, John R. & Mielke, Carlos G. C., 2018, Evolutionary biogeography and tectonic history of the ghost moth families Hepialidae, Mnesarchaeidae, and Palaeosetidae in the Southwest Pacific (Lepidoptera: Exoporia), Zootaxa 4415 (2), pp. 243-275: 252

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(3) Oxycanine Hepialidae  in the Southwest Pacific

Several Australian and New Zealand genera have ‘oxycanine’ venation which represents a derived condition within the Exoporia but is also present in three South American genera ( Aepytus, Tricladia  and Vietteogorgopis  ). The latter genera have characters supporting their inclusion in a New World cibyrine clade ( Grehan 2012) which suggests that oxycanine venation cannot be treated as an unequivocal phylogenetic character state for the Hepialidae  as a whole. New Zealand supports five endemic oxycanine genera ( Cladoxycanus  , Dioxycanus  , Dumbletonius  , Heloxycanus  , and Wiseana  ). Australia has three genera ( Jeana  , Oxycanus  , and Elhamma  ), the last two also being in New Guinea ( Tindale 1935, 1955, 1964; Simonsen 2015). A molecular study of the New Zealand and Australian oxycanine genera (excluding Elhamma  ) by Brown et al. (1999) 1 supported a sister group relationship between Australian and New Zealand oxycanines. The Australasian oxycanines have a similar distribution range to Aenetus  other than being absent from New Caledonia and west of New Guinea ( Fig. 9View FIGURES 9–10). The allopatric disjunct distribution of Australian and New Zealand clades conforms to the expectation of a vicariance origin following disruption of the ancestral range by formation of the Tasman Sea by 55 Ma.

There is also some evidence of a sister group relationship between the Australasian oxycanines and Asian genera that also have an oxycanine venation— Napialus  in China, Hepialiscus  in the Himalayas, Taiwan, Myanmar and Thailand, and the monotypic Parahepialiscus  of Borneo ( Fig. 9View FIGURES 9–10). The relationship inferred by wing venation is strengthened by the presence of a unique genitalic structure in the male in Hepialiscus  and at least some Oxycanus  species ( Ueda 1988; Grehan 2012). The monotypic genus Neohepialiscus  of North Africa also exhibits oxycanine venation and may belong to this group. The eastern Asian-Australasian range of the oxycanines is similar to that of Aenetus  - Endoclita  , albeit with local differences. This range may be derived from vicariance of a formerly widespread ancestor possibly ranging between the Mediterranean and New Zealand as a Tethyan group (c.f. Heads 2014 for other examples in the Australasian biota).