Fwd. [Leps-talk] Asterocampa

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at tils-ttr.org
Fri Dec 7 11:20:55 EST 2001

I am forwarding this recent post from the TILS-Leps-talk list serve
( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TILS-leps-talk/ ) as some may find it
informative.  The archives at leps-talk are only available to its members.

Jorge wrote:
I have the original Friedlander revision of Asterocampa, but not this
paper. I've received it... thank you very much!

I'm finishing my revision of Doxocopa... mounting genitalic plates with my
drawings, trying to submit the thesis by February.

Asterocampa is very interesting in apaturine terms as it is the only genus
keeping a complete ocelar band (element h of Nijhout) in some species. The
asiatic genus Timelaea is also strange but may be mimetic, so of litle
value for pattern evaluation.

Jorge and all -- Be sure and download the TILS News issue from our web site
which has the article in it that documents A. celtis and A. reinthali being
sympatric at the celtis type locality in Georgia.  Go to
http://www.tils-ttr.org . At the top left click on the word "News" and from
there go to the August 2000 issue.  The article is on page 4.

Three papers work together here.  First, Friedlander's paper on
Asterocampa. Second, my paper on the same subject with some very important
comments by Friedlander such as:

"... I sunk subpallida because it is the Arizona version(s) of texana, both
of which probably are not single entities and require further
investigation. I almost named subgenera for the two groupings, but of what
use?  They are distinctive enough to have come over from Asia separately,
then separated into tropical/temperate pairs.
    To sum up, I guess I'm emphatic that subspecific names not be raised or
given until the critical research is done to explain the phylogeny of the
populations. I'm not debating the distinctiveness or isolation of the
western populations - they will all eventually need formal names, if they
survive extinction.  But there are many, many more such populations than
subpallida, montis, cocles, and the one A. celtis I left unnamed in Mexico
(and A. clyton louisa). But if it helps to have a name [to provide
protection to taxon], resurrect it now!  I'd prefer to wait until the
phylogeny is done right."

[At this point we return to my textual comments immediately following this

"Two things are clear from Friedlander's remarks. First, much more research
needs to be done. Second, the last word on Asterocampa subspeciation has
not been spoken. My reason for writing this paper is to stimulate more
research on the Asterocampa. I feel some of the named taxa were sunk
prematurely.  Why sink a subspecies we know will one day be validly
resurrected just because it needs to be defined in a more accurate way?  If
some of the demoted taxa are not truly synonymous with (the same thing as)
the subspecies they were placed under, then the only thing accomplished in
sinking them was the replacement of an inaccurate subspeciation with an
inaccurate synonymy. "

The third paper is my News article referred to above.  Celtis and reinthali
are distinct species.  Dr. Reinthal did the original work on this group and
split them up.  Friedlander hyper lumped them.  Reinthal is now proven to
be correct that celtis and reinthali are species.  (Reinthali is the
Florida entity once known as "alicia" - true alicia is a Gulf Coast
subspecies of either celtis.)

Ron Gatrelle
TILS president
Charleston, SC - USA


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