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

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Hyalophora Duncan [& Westwood], 1841 , in Jardine. Naturalists Libr. (Edn 1) 33(Ent.7) : 124, 132.

Available Name

Homonyms: 1

Higher classification:

Phalaena cecropia Linnaeus, 1758. Systema Naturae (Edn 10), 1: 496.    [BHLBHL]

Type-species designation:
by subsequent designation by Grote , 1865. Proc. ent. Soc. Philad. 5: 227.    [BHLBHL]

Type specimens:
Type(s) NORTH AMERICA: ? Locality, (? Depository)..

Fletcher & Nye (1982) stated:-

Grote's designation of Phalaena cecropia as the type-species of Hyalophora was included in his discussion of the genus Samia Hübner, [1819]. As authors have interpreted differently Grote's designation, the relevant part of his discussion of Samia is reproduced below.

The second species, Phalaena (Attacus) cecropia, of Linnaeus, is properly the type of an American genus for which I have elsewhere [Grote, 1865 November 27, Practical Entomologist 1 (2): 14] proposed to use Duncan's generic term, Hyalophora. It is becoming evident to me that the use of this term is liable to objection, for the reason that it is not properly restricted by its author, and that it has been loosely used for a variety of species, I am constrained to propose a new name for it.

Ferguson, 1972, in Dominick et al., Moths Am. North of Mexico 20 (2): 245, rejected Grote's designation of cecropia but accepted Bouvier's designation in 1936 of the same species in the following terms.

On the same page he [Grote] then proposed the new genus Platysamia for cecropia and its allies. A search of Grote's earlier papers provided no explanation of his use of the words `elsewhere proposed', and I am certain that was meant was that he had at some previous time considered using Hylaophora for cecropia, perhaps proposing to do so in discussion with his contempories, but not in print ...

His intention not to use Hyalophora is all the more obvious because the statement in question was part of the preamble to his definition of the new genus Platysamia; he would hardly have restricted one generic name by designating a type-species and then on the same page propose a new name for the very same group. In effect, Grote said that he had earlier intended to use Hyalophora, with cecropia as the type-species, but had since abandoned the idea, deciding instead to propose the new generic name Platysamia. This is not a type-species designation for Hyalophora but its acceptance by Bouvier, and later also by Michener, is binding nevertheless (See International Code of Zoological Nomenclature Article 69(a)(iii)).

Grote had in fact used the genus Hyalophora for cecropia and its congeners, as he himself had stated; it use was published in 1865 November 27, Practical Entomologist 1 (2) : 14. Grote may have disliked having used Hyalophora for cecropia but nonetheless acknowledged that it 'it is properly the type.

Grote's designation was accepted by Bouvier, 1936, Mem. Mus. Natn. Hist. Nat. (N.S.) 3 : 270; by Michener, 1952, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 98 : 499; and by Lemaire, 1978, Les Attacidae Americains (The Attacidae of America) : 114. It has been adopted in this catalogue.

If Grote's designation were rejected, the next valid designation is not that of Bouvier, adopted by Ferguson, 1972, but that of Joannis, 1926, Annls Soc. ent. Fr. 95 : 10, who designated Phalaena attacus Linnaeus, 1758. Adoption of Joannis's designation would result in the transfer of Hyalophora from its stable current use in the Americam Saturniidae, to the Old World Saturniidae as a junior objective synonym of Attacus Linnaeus, 1758.

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

Junior name(s):
Platysamia Grote, 1865: 228.

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