Checklist of Limenitidinae or Limenitidini

Sean Patrick Mullen spm23 at
Fri Dec 14 09:58:16 EST 2001


Thanks for the informative reply!  My own research is focused on the 
genetic basis of phenotypic differentiation in North American 
Limenitis but it is frustrating not to have a better understanding of 
the evolutionary diversity and patterns in the larger taxonomic 
groupings.  No doubt, a large part of this is due to my lack of 
familiarity with the field and my relative inexperience with 
Lepidoptera.  It does surprise me, however, that a comprehensive 
taxanomic list of all butterfly species doesn't exist...maybe that's 
just my naivete!!!!

For instance, how many species are the genus 
Limenitis?  Is there a complete list?  I know that Kathleen Prudic at 
U. Colorado is working out the relationships among N.A. admirals but 
has anyone tackled this problem more broadly?  As I'm sure we're all 
aware, it is always nice to be able to place one's own research into 
a broader evolutionary context:).

Thanks for the all who responded!

>     I haven't seen a list and I somehow doubt that there is one, 
>especially since we don't actually know what "Limenitidinae" is! The 
>best classification of Nymphalidae by Don Harvey (in Nijhout's book 
>on butterfly wing patterns) has a list of genera in what he 
>considers to be Limenitidinae. However, Andy Brower's and my 
>molecular work are showing that the subfamily Limenitidinae sensu 
>Harvey is hopelessly paraphyletic (something that Harvey was aware 
>of for sure). The tribe Limenitidini will likely turn out 
>monophyletic, though I can't say much since I'm only sampling one 
>species per tribe of the Nymphalidae (as my outgroups in my study of 
>the subfamily Nymphalinae). In my own work, I've found it necessary 
>to build up my own checklist of the subfamily Nymphalinae, by going 
>through the latest taxonomical revisions for each genus (if there is 
>one!). For anybody interested you can find the checklist to the 
>Nymphalinae on my web site (address below). An excellent place to 
>start with a checklist for Limentidinae is 
> though you will have 
>to figure out what you actually want to include in the subfamily 
>yourself! Best of luck and keep us posted on your results.
>Niklas Wahlberg
>Department of Zoology
>Stockholm University
>S-106 91 Stockholm
>Phone: +46 8 164047
>Fax:   +46 8 167715



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