Why Mitoura?

Chris J. Durden drdn at mail.utexas.edu
Sat Sep 1 21:22:07 EDT 2001

    In 1982 (JLS36:10) I noted a ventrally-green-scaled var. of *C. 
(Incisalia) solatus* in Austin TX. At the time I seriously considered the 
possibility that it was a wild hybrid of *solatus* with *C. (Mitoura) 
sweadneri*. I discarded this possibility because there were no 
morphological characters other than the structurally colored scales, that 
would support this. I regret that this specimen was an influence in my 
deciding to follow the "conservative" course of considering both species 
congeneric in *Callophrys*, but in separate subgenera. Since that time a 
lot of "Callophri" have passed under my eyes, coming from points between 
Guatemala and Quebec (including many produced by that gifted collector, 
John Kemner) and I too am astounded by the plasticity of the genera in this 
complex and the frequent expression of parallel traits. Those two species 
from the 1982 report I now determine as *Deciduphagus solatus* and *Mitoura 
siva*? undescribed subspecies.
.............Chris Durden
(Representing my current opinion, not the consensus of a clique.)

At 02:39 AM 9/1/2001 -0400, you wrote:

>"gwang" <gwang at mb.sympatico.ca> wrote
> > Hi Ron,
> > Perhaps you've explained this already in a previous post and I missed
> > it, but why is Mitoura a genus?  In Butterflies of Canada, the authors
> > give the following reason for regarding Mitoura as a subgenus of
> > Callophrys: "The tenuous nature of the characters separating these
> > 'genera' were illustrated by Warren and Robbins (1993) in their report
> > of a hybrid between 'Incisalia' augustinus and 'Callophrys' sheridanii.
> > In particualr, the valve 'cap' (a sclerotized thickened area at the apex
> > of the male valve), used to characterize Incisalia, is shown to be
> > present also in Mitoura and Callophrys, but expressed to a lesser
> > degree." (page 25)  Is this somehow incorrect, or has some new evidence
> > been discovered which justifies this split?  Are the other 'subgenera'
> > really separate genera?
> >
> > Peace,
> > Xi Wang
> >
>Good topic. I have actually been wondering when this topic would be brought

>good 100 meters away. You should see a couple of the wild grynea
>aberrations I have - especially one which will be in our next TILS
>     Let's talk about real Elfin science. In 1992 Dr. Kurt Johnson published
>a 141 page research paper on the Palaearctic "Elfin" Butterflies. In this
>European published generic level monograph he also briefly touched on the
>Elfins of the new world. Here is a real good question. Why did the authors
>of B. of Canada ignore this science? I bet they did not ever know of it -
>that's why. I have discussed this paper before on Leps-l and at one point
>posted the paper's entire generic layout of the North American species.  It
>is Deciduphagus augustinus by the way since Johnson's paper.
>     Butterflies of British Columbia 2001 by Guppy and Shepard utilizes
>Mitoura and Callophrys as genera. The Massive 1998 Systematics of Western
>North Ameircan Butterflies utilizes Mitoura and Callophrys as genera. The
>1997 Butterfies of West Virginia by Allen employs Mitoura not Callophrys as
>the appropriate genus. Nielsen in the 1999 Butterflies & Skippers of
>Michigan likewise does not use Callophrys but Incisalia for the relative
>eastern taxa.
>     There are several larger questions here. The informed opinion of some
>of us is that way too much taxonomy is now being presented in books for
>public consumption based only on the opinion of a "click" and not published
>science. This is taxonomy by decree - not research. Don't be surprised if
>science demonstrates that siva and grynea really are different species too.
>And people think they are getting stability.
>     Xi, thanks again for opening up this topic. Don't be surprised if some
>professional jealously now pops its head up and the clicks begin to butt
>heads - or be butt heads.
>Ron Gatrelle, president
>The International Lepidoptera Survey
>  ------------------------------------------------------------
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