question re subfamilies of Noctuidae

Pierre Zagatti zagatti at
Tue Aug 3 05:58:04 EDT 1999

Hello Orville,

All valid family and subfamily names should follow a simple rule:
they have the same prefix as their type genus.
Now Catocala is a valid genus name whereas Othreis is not, it's a synomym

of Eudocima Billberg. So the name Othreiinae is not valid.
Poole, among others, found that the quadrifids related to Catocala are so

different from the quadrifids related to Ophideres that they should
belong to
different subfamilies.  OK it's a scientific opinion, but the problem is
Ophideres is a non-valid synonym of Eudocima too (Poole), so the name
Ophiderinae should be replaced by Eudociminae or something like that.
However, this should be published as a decision of the International
Commission for Zoological Nomenclature.

Quotes in family or subfamily names often refer to a previously published
which does not match with your present work, so "Ophiderinae" may be
way to write Ophiderinae _sensu_ Poole. This is specially important if
you mention
old works where "Catocalinae" (syn Erebinae) contain both Catocalinae and
sensu Poole.

This becomes very complex, sometimes I feel that Noctuid taxonomy was
by the owners of the Aspirin Company. To summarize, Othreiinae is always
synomym of Ophiderinae. Ophiderinae may be changed in the future in
another name.
The only way for us, mortal entomologists, to publish coherent lists, is
to precise
the systematic source of the names we use. Since Poole's catalogue is the
important and recent work, just follow it.

INRA Unite de Phytopharmacie et Mediateurs Chimiques
78026 Versailles Cedex
Tel: (33) 1 30 83 31 18
e-mail zagatti at

"O.G. Marti, Jr." wrote:

> Suppose you encountered a listing of subfamilies of Noctuidae in
> which the following occurred:
> .
> .
> Catocalinae                no quotes
> "Othreiinae"               in  quotes
> "Catocalinae"             in quotes
> .
> .
> In addition to this, the person making the list elsewhere (in another
> list) used Ophiderinae as one of the subfamilies of the Noctuidae,
> and "Othreiinae" is not encountered.  I am following Poole in his
> usage of Ophiderinae and Catocalinae and I need to know what to
> do with "Othreiinae".  Do they belong in Ophiderinae, and the
> "Catocalinae" in quotes belong in the Catocalinae, as per Poole?
> I need to make a listing of Catocalinae and Ophiderinae as used by
> Poole but I don't know how to deal with the above, so info on these
> points will be greatly appreciated.
> O.G. Marti, Jr.        omarti at
> Orville G. Marti, Jr., Microbiologist
> PO Box 748
> Tifton, GA.  31793
> omarti at
> Phone: 912-387-2328  (office)
> Phone: 912-387-2350  (lab)
> FAX  : 912-387-2321
> WEB:

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