The life history, morphology, and biology of the immature stages and phylogenetic relationships of Rotunda rotundapex (Miyata & Kishida, 1990) are described and illustrated for the first time. The species is univoltine: Eggs hatch in spring (March or April) and the life cycle from egg to adult is completed in about 3 wk, with larvae developing rapidly on young leaves of the host plants, Morus australis and to a lesser extent Broussonetia monoica (Moraceae), and adults emerging in April-May. Eggs are laid in clusters on twigs of the host plant, are covered by scales during female oviposition, and remain in diapause for the remainder of the year (i.e., for 10-11 mo). Larvae (all instars) are unique among the Bombycidae in that they lack a horn on abdominal segment 8. A strongly supported molecular phylogeny based on six genes (5.0 Kbp: COI, EF-1α, RpS5, CAD, GAPDH, and wgl) representing seven genera of Bombycinae from the Old World revealed that Rotunda is a distinct monotypic lineage sister to Bombyx. This phylogenetic position, together with morphological data of the immature stages (egg and larval chaetotaxy), supports the current systematic classification in which the species rotundapex has been placed in a separate genus (Rotunda) from Bombyx in which it was previously classified.
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