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Frack (1982) stated that the following morphological traits distinguish Agavenema from Prodoxus:

  • maxillary palps short
  • proboscis short
  • veins M1 and M2 stalked in hindwing (separate or connate in Prodoxus)
  • pupal protrusion dorsoventrally flattened (conical/triangular in Prodoxus)

Brown et al. (1994) using a subset of Prodoxus species in a phylogenetic reconstruction based on DNA sequence data found Agavenema to be nested within Prodoxus. Further analyses currently under way should provide further resolution on this matter.

Species delineations within this genus are also contested. Davis (1967) recognized two species, A. barberella (Busck) and A. pallida Davis. Frack (1982) expressed reservations about this division, stating that it may represent one rather variable species or a complex of many sibling species. He recognized one distinct undescribed species (see top figure).

Because of the current uncertainty with regard to the genus status and species delineations, both described taxa are presented under this entry.


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