for Spirama retorta
reads retorta Clerck, 1764 Icones Ins. raricorum 2. pl.  Phalaena
. Other sources (Moths of Nepal part 2, Moths of Thailand vol 3 part 1, Lepid. Cat. 118) list Clerck, 1759 Icones Ins. raricorum 1 pl. 54 fig 2.
I don't have access to the two Clerck publications, but suspect that the 1759 citation is correct and that the 1764 citation is a misreading of the figure for the volume; unless the reverse is true and the error has been perpetuated without checking! Consequently I'm none the wiser!!
Combining the information I have on Noctuidae (not including the error strewn Fauna Sinica Insecta volume on Noctuidae) the following emerges:
Spirama retorta (Clerck, 1759 / 1764)
Noctua spiralis Fabricius, 1775 $+ (Syst. Ent. 592)
Noctua spiralis Fabricius, 1781 # (Spec.Ins.2.:211)
Noctua nyctea Fabricius, 1798 #
Erebus chimista Kollar,  $+ #
Spirama isabella Guenée, 1852 $+ #
Spirama suffumosa Guenée, 1852 $+ #
Spirama cohaerens Walker, 1858 $+ #
Hypopyra martha Butler, 1878 $+ (listed as a valid species in LepIndex)
Spirama simplicior Butler, 1881 $+ (listed as a synonym of Spirama japonica in LepIndex)
Spirama jinchuena Butler, 1883 $+ #
Spirama inaequalis Butler, 1883 $+ #
Spirama cohaerens Moore, 1884-1887 # (nec. Walker, 1858)
Spirama helicina Moore, 1884-1887 # (nec. Hubner,  1825)
Spirama confusa Butler, 1889 #
Speiredonia rubicunda Warren, 1913 #
Speiredonia crameriana Strand, 1914 #
Spirama helicina (Hübner, 1827) #
Spirama helicina (Hübner,  1825) $
[note this is the same species as the publication and page entries are identical for both the above citations!]
Spirama japponica Guenée, 1852 $+ (not listed in LepIndex; LepIndex lists Spirama japonica with the same citation, so presumably Poole misspelt the species name and this was repeated by Kononenko & Pinratana)
Spirama aegrota Butler, 1881 $+ (listed as a synonym of Spirama martha in LepIndex)
$ - as listed in Poole, 1989. Lepidopterorum Catologus, Fasc. 118
$+ - as listed in Poole, 1989 and repeated in Kononenko & Pinratana 2005. Moths of Thailand, vol.3 Noctuidae part 1.
# - as listed on LepIndex (BMNH), accessed 30 Nov 2006
From all this it is clear the synonymy is not satisfactorily resolved and further work to elucidate publications and dates of when certain taxa were included or removed from synonymy needs to be undertaken. Unfortunately, Spirama
does not occur in Borneo, otherwise the volume on Cataocalinae would have clarified much uncertainty - Holloway simply mentions Spirama
under the tribal heading for Hypopyrini and that the relationship between Spirama
needs exploration (if the two were found to be synonymous, then Spirama
would have priority).
Notable confusions have been created, e.g.:
1. there are two different helicina
species, one a good species (described by Hübner), the other a resdescription of retorta
by Moore - the latter is both a junior synonym of retorta
and a secondary homonym of helicina
2. someone is incorrect regarding the publication of Spirama spiralis
3. the status of Spirama japonica
4. the status of Hypopyra martha
It may be that Poole didn't do a thorough job, judging by the number of taxa "missed". I am inclined to suspect this is the case, even though I am aware the BMNH card index system isn't totally 100% correct.
Nadia, I agree with your conclusion on triloba
as a valid species and rosaecea
as a synonym thereof. This is how both Poole and LepIndex refer to their status.
As to differentiating helicina
(Hubner) from retorta
- I will restate what I posted earlier with reference to the ventral surface colour, light crimson in helicina
and a dark crimson (almost blood red) in retorta
. The lateral abdominal colouration in both Moths of Thailand and Moths of Nepal shows this difference. Of the small sample size illustrated in these two books, the f/w discal "spiral" or "swirl" appears proportionately larger in diameter in helicina
. I have not checked this out in HK specimens yet, though I have not yet knowingly seen any true helicina
in HK, either specimens or photos thereof. I am happy to be corrected (with proof) and agree with Nadia, there is no reason why both species shouldn't occur in HK.
As to seasonal forms, in Moths of Nepal the spirama
specimens are illustrated as a light form (vernal, March - June) and a dark form (aestival) July - September); the two retorta
specimens in Moths of Thailand are both dark forms, captured in March and May at the end of their dry season.
hope you manage to follow this!!
[ Last edited by hkmoths at 2006-11-30 12:33