De rerum: an acknowlegement and explanation.
INDEX: Linnaean

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Junonia the genus

In 1819, Hubner established both the genera Precis (TS Papilio octavia) and Junonia (TS P.lavinia, now J. evarete.) Perhaps in naming Junonia, Hubner had in mind the story of Juno and the peacock with reference to the prominent eye-spots often found in the genus.
Since then the two  genera have been lumped, split and spp. switched across. It is therefore surprising that the phyletic relationship of these similar looking genera is that of rather distant cousins. Junonia's closest relation is Salamis, while that of Precis is Hyoplimnas (see Wahlberg and Brower on tolweb.) Incidentally, Salamis appears to have been re-assigned back to Protogoniomorpha!
There are four commonly found Junonia spp. here:
J. hierta
J. oenone
J. natalica
J. Orithya
I do have a single record of J. terea from the Kruger National Park.
J. tugela has been re-assigned to Precis.

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