Hemming (1967) stated:-
This nominal genus was for a long time a cause of difficulty, owing to the fact that the included nominal species selected as the type-species by Butler in 1870 (Cistula ent. 1 : 53) was misidentified by Hübner when he established this genus. The entry for this species made by Hübner read as follows : - "Euchloe belia Esp. Pap. 92. II. Hübn. Pap. 417. 418".
This entry was perfectly comprehensible in Hübner's day and for long afterwards, the species being the black-tipped white Pierid figured by Esper on the plate cited by Hübner. The first author to apply the name belia to this species was Stoll in 1782 (in Cramer, Uitl. Kapellen 4 (34) : 225 pl. 397, fig. A). Unluckily, the name belia so used was not a new name introduced by Stoll ; it was a name published by Linnaeus in 1767 (Syst. Nat. (ed. 12) 1 (2) : 761). The Stoll/Esper/Hübner interpretation of the specific name belia remained unchallenged until in 1869 (Ent. mon. Mag. 5 : 271) Butler pointed out that the species to which in 1767 Linnaeus gave the name belia was totally distinct from that to which it had been applied by Stoll. The name Papilio belia of Linnaeus was based on a pale-cream-coloured white-tipped insect taken in North Africa which was in fact the female of the brilliant yellow orange-tipped species to the male of which Linnaeus has given the name Papilio eupheno (: 762). Butler's discovery left the South of France insect, which Esper had figured, without a name. This deficiency was made good in 1871 when Kirby gave the name esperi to that taxon.
Serious confusion would have arisen if, following Butler's (1869) discovery, the genus Euchloe Hübner had been interpreted as though, when citing the specific name belia he had correctly applied that name to the yellow orange-tipped North African species (i.e. eupheno Linnaeus) and not to the white black-tipped species figured by Esper, for in 1833 the yellow-orange-tipped species had been separated from Euchloe by Boisduval, Rambur and Graslin. Thus, if - in defiance of the clear intention of Hübner - it had been assumed that the specific name belia had been correctly interpreted by Hübner, the effect would have been that the name Anthocharis would have become a junior subjective synonym of Euchloe, the white black-tipped group of species being thus left without a generic name. This would have been highly confusing, because it would have involved the transfer of the name Euchloe from the white species to the yellow species.
In the circumstances it was decided that this was pre-eminently a case where the Commission should be asked to give a ruling that the species to be accepted as the type-species of Euchloe should be the species intended by Hübner (the author of this generic name) and not the species to which the name which he used (belia) properly applies. An application in this sense was submitted to the Commission by myself in 1935. This application was approved by the Commission, whose decision was promulgated in Opinion 177 in June 1946 (Opin. int. Comm. zool. Nom. 2 : 533-544). Later, in Opinion 270 (1954, loc. cit. 6 : 25-40) the Commission placed the generic name Euchloe Hübner on the Official List of Generic Names in Zoology as Name No. 687. In the same Opinion the Commission placed the group name esperi Kirby. 1871, as published in the combination Euchloe ausonia Hübner, var. esperi, the species-group name adopted by the Commission when designating the taxon so named as the type-species, on the Official List of Specific Names in Zoology as Name No. 90.
Cowan (1970: 46) stated:-
"(66) to read - (6)", [genus part].
EUCHLOE was included within the subfamily PIERIDAE: PIERINAE by Ackery et al., in Kristensen (1999).
The higher classification used here follows Lamas (2008).
Learn more about Pieridae in Wikipedia.
See images at Butterflies of America.
Search the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) for references to EUCHLOE and included species.