updating these butterfly name from Japan.

Kuniomi Matsumoto langprac at gol.com
Sat May 20 06:05:11 EDT 2000

Hi Paul,

> I have been going over some nymphalids in my collection and have come
>across the following:
>Melitaea phoebe mandarina
>Mellicta athalia niphona
>Mellicta britomartis niphona.
> According to a list of the species flying in Japan (downloaded from
>internet some months ago) these 3 do not figure in this list.
> Are the above 3 species known by some new name? Thanks to all.

The scientific names of the three species belonging to the two genera,
_Melitaea_ and _Mellicta_, are as follows according to Inomata's "Keys
to the Japanese Butterflies in Natural Color," (1990).

_Melitaea scotosia_
_Melitaea regama_
_Mellicta britomartis niphona_

The butterfly now known as _Mellicta britomartis niphona_ went through
the following changes of the status. They are in chronological order.

_Melitaea athalia niphona_
_Mellicta ambigua_
_Mellicta athalia niphona_
_Mellicta britomartis niphona_

If "A List of Butterflies from Japan" by Matsuka's is the list you
you find _ambigua_ in it. Verity considered the east Asian subspecies of
was a separate species and gave the name to it in 1940.

I couldn't find any literature where _phoebe_ is used for any of the
three Japanese species, but _Melitaea phoebe_ from Europe looks
very much like _scotosia_.

So my guess is what you have in your collection are _Melitaea scotosia_
and _Mellicta britomartis niphona_.


Kuniomi Matsumoto
3-3-5-1210 Hikarigaoka,
Nerima-ku, Tokyo 179-0072
E-mail: langprac at gol.com
tel./fax 3938-8400

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