Butterflies and Moths of the World Generic Names and their Type-species

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Eulepis Scudder, 1875 . Proc. amer. acad. Arts Sci., Boston 10(2) : 170.    [BHLBHL]

Junior Homonym

Homonyms: 2

Higher classification:

Papilio athamas Drury, 1773. Illust. nat. hist. exot. insects : index et 5, pl.2, fig.4.    [BHLBHL]

Type-species designation:
by original designation .

Type specimens:
See BHL scanned Type-species page: .

Hemming (1967) stated:-

The name Eulepis as applied by Scudder to the well-known Charaxid Nymphalid, was formerly widely used. That this should have occurred was due entirely to an extraordinary mistake made by Scudder when discussing the genus Eulepis Billberg, 1820, established by its original author as a (quite unnecessary) replacement for Nymphidium Fabricius, 1807, one of the oldest and best-known genera in the family Riodinidae. The circumstances which gave rise to this mistake have been discussed in part in the note on the generic name Eriboea Hübner, [1819], which became implicated in this case through a further error made in 1909 by Röber, when attempting to provide a remedy for Scudder's original mistake. The facts in their immediate bearing on the name Eulepis as used by Scudder are set out below.

Billberg, as has already been explained, established the nominal genus Eulepis as a replacement for the genus Nymphidium Fabricius, and in consequence it takes automatically (under Section (i) (replacement names) of Article 67) as its type-species the species which is the type-species so replaced, that is, Papilio caricae Linnaeus, 1758. Overlooking the replacement character of Eulepis, Scudder observed that the only specific name cited by Billberg as that of an included species consisted of the word "athamas". This was no more than a manuscript name and therefore ineligible for selection as the type-species. Overlooking again the fact that for the above reason the specific name athamas, as cited by Billberg, possessed no status in nomenclature and ignoring the fact that Billberg placed the genus Eulepis among the Lycaenids (with which at that time the Riodinids were commonly united), Scudder concluded that the name athamas, as used by Billberg, applied to the Charaxid Nymphalid Papilio athamas Drury, which he thereupon stated was the type-species of Eulepis by monotypy.

It was in these circumstance that the Charaxid genus Eulepis came into existence. Scudder unequivocally accepted this as a properly established genus. It cannot be ignored on account of the mistakes which led to its establishment, for, as has been explained in the note on the name Eriboea Hübner, [1819], it has played an important part in the literature. It must however be attributed to Scudder and be treated as having been first published in 1875. Following upon the correction of Scudder's mistake, the nominal species Papilio athamas Drury, which is considered subjectively on taxonomic grounds to be congeneric with Papilio pyrrhus Linnaeus, 1758, is the type-species of the genus Polyura Billberg, 1820. Accordingly, the name Eulepis Scudder is currently treated as a junior subjective synonym of Polyura Billberg, 1820.

The name Eulepis Scudder, 1875, is invalid, as being a junior homonym of Eulepis Billberg, 1820.

The higher classification used here follows Lamas (2008).

Learn more about Nymphalidae in Wikipedia

Search the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) for references to EULEPIS and included species.

Senior name:
Polyura Billberg, 1820: 79.

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