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

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Pentila Westwood, 1851 , in Doubleday. Gen. diurn. Lep. 2 : pl.76, fig. 7.    [BHLBHL]

Available Name

Homonyms: 1

Higher classification:

Tingra tropicalis Boisduval, 1847. In: Delegorgue, Voy. Afrique austr. : 589.

Type-species designation:
by subsequent designation by Int. Commn zool. Nom. , 1959. Opin. Decl. int. Commn zool. Nom. 20: 379 (Opinion 566).    [BHLBHL]

Type specimens:
? Type status ? COUNTRY: ? Locality, (? Depository)..

Hemming (1967) stated:-

The case of the name Pentila Westwood is intimately bound up with that of the name Liptena Westwood at the family-group-name level and some reference has been made to the Pentila problem in the note on the name Liptena Westwood. These names resemble one another in that each is the name of an important genus, both of which belong to the remarkable group of African Lycaenids usually treated as belonging to an isolated subfamily to which the name Lipteninae is currently applied. The nominal genera bearing these names also have habitually been treated as having, as their type-species, species other than those which were in fact their type-species. It was for this reason that, when it was decided to ask the Commission to give relief under its Plenary Powers in the case of the name Liptena, it was decided also to ask the Commission to deal with the case of the name Pentila. The subsequent history of the name Liptena has been explained in the note on that name already given. As regards Pentila, the position is set out below.

As established by Westwood, the genus Pentila had as its type-species by monotypy the nominal species Pentila zymna Westwood, [1851] (in Doubleday, Gen. diurn. Lep. (2) : pl. 76, fig. 6). The name Pentila was however never used in this sense, the genus Pentila being always treated as having as its type-species Tingra tropicalis Boisduval. Its true type-species (Pentila zymna) is currently treated as belonging to a quite different genus, Megalopalpus Röber, 1881. On the other hand, at the time of the submission of this case to the Commission Tingra tropicalis was the type-species of the virtually forgotten nominal genus Tingra Boisduval, 1847. Thus, at the time in question the strict application of the Code would have led to the most confusing changes : (1) the large group of species known to all as belonging to the genus Pentila would have had to be transferred to the unfamiliar name Tingra ; (ii) the name Pentila would have had to be transferred to the genus Megalopalpus, the latter name disappearing as a junior subjective synonym of Pentila.

In order to prevent this deplorable situation from arising, the Commission was asked to use its Plenary Powers to suppress the name Tingra Boisduval and to designate the nominal species Tingra tropicalis Boisduval to be the type-species of Pentila Westwood. This request was granted by the Commission, its decision being promulgated in its Opinion 566, published in 1959 (Opin. int. Comm. zool. Nom. 20 : 377-390). In the same Opinion the name Pentila Westwood with Tingra tropicalis Boisduval as type-species was placed on the Official List of Generic Names in Zoology as Name No. 1366.

The higher classification used here follows Lamas (2008).

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

Junior name(s):
Tingra Boisduval, 1847: 589.

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