Chris J. Durden drdn at
Fri Nov 8 11:50:26 EST 2002

At 09:11 AM 11/8/2002 +0000, you wrote:
>Hi all,
>    For what it's worth, molecular data from three
>genes (COI, EF-1alpha and wingless) say that Vanessa
>(sensu Field) is the sister group to Cynthia (minus
>anabella and presumably carye), while anabella is
>sister to the two groups above. The most basal lineage
>is Bassaris (with only two species V. gonerilla and V.
>itea). Keep in mind that I am still missing specimens
>of carye, terpsichore, altissima and tameamea. If you
>believe this arrangement, either you make up a new
>genus for anabella (and presumably carye), or you lump
>all (except perhaps Bassaris) into Vanessa. I prefer
>the latter.

I would choose your latter solution. There remains however the "Red 
Admiral" pattern that occurs in *V. atalanta*, *V. indica*, *V. vulcania* 
in Eurasia; *Antanartia abyssinica*, *A. hippomene*, *A. schaeneia* in 
Africa; and *Pycina zamba* and *P. zelys* in the Americas. Is this a result 
of shared ancestral traits perhaps from some Gondwanan ancestor? Is it 
allochthonous mimicry imposed by migratory avian predators familiar with 
the circumboreal *V. atalanta* as a "hard-to-catch" model? Is it the 
inevitable selection of the same design from a limited number of options? I 
like the third alternative least.
................Chris Durden


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