De rerum: an acknowlegement and explanation.
INDEX: Linnaean

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Acraea: the taxonomy

I had promised I would post a note on the systematics of the Acraeas. It seems the entire tribe is being constantly revised: see excellent article in wikipedia ( which sums up the present state of the taxonomy: Acraea being a rubbish bin taxon. I notice Markku Savela's site remains a lumper, including all into the Acraeas, The VM  has taken the splitting route of reassigning nearly all of the Hyalites to the Telchinia.

The following is from Wikipedia:-
"With increasing availability of DNA sequence data, it is confirmed that Acraea as loosely defined does not constitute a monophyletic group. Even before the attempts to split up Acraea in earnest had begun, Jacob Hübner in 1819 suggested to separate species around Acraea serena asTelchinia. This name has been applied to a generally African group whose members usually feed on Urticaceae, and they had already been noted to bear some uncanny resemblances to theAmerican Actinote in anatomical details. Indeed, they seem to be closer relatives of these than of the other butterflies placed in Acraea, which usually feed on Passifloraceae and are at least in part quite close relatives of the African genus Bematistes. Those closest to that genus might warrant separation as Rubraea or Stephenia.[3]"

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