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

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Syrichtus Boisduval, 1834 . Icones hist. Lépid. nouv. ou peu connus 1(23/24) : 230.

Available Name

Homonyms: 1

Higher classification:

Papilio malvae Linnaeus, 1758. Systema Naturae (Edn 10), 1: 485.    [BHLBHL]

Type-species designation:
by subsequent designation by Blanchard , 1845. In: Comte, Hist. Ins. (Spec. gén. Lépid.), 2: 348.

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

Hemming (1967) stated:-

Boisduval erected the genus Syrichtus for the whole of the European "Black-and-White Skippers", including the "Mallow Skippers" currently placed in the genus Carcharodus Hübner, [1819]. The subsequent history of this genus has been unfortunate through defective type-selections. The first attempt was made by Scudder (1875, Proc. amer. Acad. Arts Sci., Boston 10 : 273) who designated Papilio syrichtus Fabricius, 1775 (Syst. Ent. : 534) on the ground that, owing to the tautonymy between the generic name Syrichtus and the specific name of the nominal species Papilio syrichtus Fabricius, it must be assumed that it was that species Boisduval must have taken for the base - and therefore the type-species - of this genus. This type-selection by Scudder is invalid, because Boisduval did not cite the above nominal species as belonging to this genus. The next author to make a type-selection for this genus was Plötz who in 1879 (Stett. ent. Ztg 40 : 179) selected Papilio sao Bergstrasser, [1779] (Nom. Ins. 2 : 67, pl. 40, figs 8, 9), a nominal species currently identified subjectively as representing the same taxon as that represented by Papilio malvae Linnaeus, 1758 (a species occurring in England and currently placed in the genus Pyrgus Hübner, [1819]). Boisduval correctly identified (: 231) Papilio malvae but he did not cite Papilio sao Bergstrasser and accordingly Plötz's selection of that nominal species as type-species was invalid. (Boisduval, while discussing what he called Syrichtus orbifer, i.e. Papilio orbifer, did mention a taxon under the name sao but that taxon, which is closely allied to Papilio orbifer Hübner, is totally distinct from that which earlier Bergstrasser had named Papilio sao). The taxon which Boisduval referred to as sao in the paragraph dealing with Papilio orbifer is Papilio sao Hübner, [1802-1803] ; in view of the fact that the name given to this taxon by Hübner is a junior homonym of the name published by Bergstrasser in 1779 discussed above, it was replaced by Hoffmannsegg in 1804 by the name Papilio sertorius, by which name this taxon is currently known. The first authors to select as the type-species of Syrichtus one of the species originally included in that genus by Boisduval were Elwes & Edwards who (as stated above) selected Papilio proto Esper, for which Boisduval gave a recognizable description (: 233) and good figures (pl. 46, figs 4, 5). This selection was perfectly in order, and accordingly Papilio photo Esper is the type-species of the genus Syrichtus Boisduval.

Up to the opening years of the present century the question of the species to be accepted as the type-species of Syrichtus Boisduval was not one of immediate practical importance, for the whole group constituted by the Black-and-White Skippers was regarded by all authors as forming a single taxonomic genus ; in consequence, on this view the name Syrichtus was held to apply to all these species, the question of the type-species of that genus being thus of academic interest only. The name Syrichtus itself was widely used, most authors ignoring the name Pyrgus Hübner, [1819], which had priority and certainly applied to the majority of the species concerned. The use of the name Syrichtus was no doubt largely fostered by the adoption of this name by Staudinger both in the First (1861) and Second (1871) editions of his celebrated Catalog. The use of the name Syrichtus was however by no means universal, many authors quite incorrectly placing this group in the genus Hesperia Fabricius, 1807, and in consequence sinking the name Syrichtus Boisduval as a junior subjective synonym. From 1901 onwards this tendency was accentuated as the result of the action of Staudinger in the Third Edition of his Catalog (: 94) when he himself abandoned the name Syrichtus in favour of the name Hesperia. About the same time however a quite different influence began to make itself felt. This movement owed its origin to a recognition of the striking structural character found among the "Black-and-White Skippers" and found its outward expression in the subdivision of that group into a number of smaller genera, the bulk of the species being retained however in the genus Hesperia. The lead in this matter was taken by Tutt, when in 1906 he established two new genera. Two of these are of importance in the present connection, these being : - (i) Sloperia Tutt, [1906] (Nat. Hist. Brit. Butts 1 : 218) (type-species : Hesperia poggei Lederer, 1858), and (ii) Muschampia Tutt, [1906], described on the same page with Papilio proto Esper, [1805-1808], the species which, it will be recalled, was selected by Elwes & Edwards in 1897 as the type-species of Syrichtus Boisduval, [1834]. More recently specialists have taken the view that these two species should on taxonomic grounds be regarded as congeneric with one another, the generic names Sloperia Tutt and Muschampia Tutt being in consequence treated as subjective synonyms of one another. Acting as First Reviser, Warren in 1926 (Trans. ent. Soc. Lond. 74 (1) : 165) gave precedence to Sloperia over Muschampia, which thus became a junior subjective synonym of Muschampia. By some authors however the name Muschampia continued to be used for Papilio proto Esper, notably by Evans in the most recent treatment of the group (1949, Cat. Hesp. Europ. Asia Australia : 179).

The name Syrichtus Boisduval has never been used exclusively for Papilio proto Esper and its immediate allies since the commencement of the splitting-up of the "Black-and-White Skipper" group nearly sixty years ago. If there had been some generic name applicable to this group in general use, there might have been a case for asking the Commission to take action to prevent disturbance of established practice by using its Plenary Powers to vary the type-species of Syrichtus Boisduval by (for Example) designating as its type-species the nominal species Papilio alveolus Hübner, thus making its name a junior objective synonym of Pyrgus Hübner, [1819]. But in actual fact the adoption of the name Syrichtus Boisduval for Papilio proto Esper will cause no such disturbance : the correct name for that species, if Syrichtus were to be ruled out by the Commission would be Sloperia Tutt, a name which has hardly ever been used, this species during the last half century having been commonly placed either in Muschampia Tutt or in Pyrgus Hübner or even in Hesperia Fabricius. On the grounds of nomenclatorial practice there is therefore no reason why the name Syrichtus Boisduval should not be used in its correct nomenclatorial sense. It is therefore so used here.

Cowan (1970: 55) stated:-

"SYRICHTUS Boisduval, [1834], Icon. hist. Lep. Europe 1 (livr. 23/24) : 230. Type-species by designation by Blanchard, 1845 (in Comte, 1844 1849, Traitécompl. Hist. nat.) Hist. Ins. 2 : 348 : Papilio malvae Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat. (ed. 10) 1 : 485.

Hemming's historical notes are relevant here in showing that Syrichtus Boisduval is invalid and stands in effect sensu Evans, 1949 : 187, as a junior subjective synonym of Pyrpus Hübner, [1819].

See also: List B (Blanchard). [[Given here] BLANCHARD, E., 1845 (in COMTE, A., 1844-1849, Traitécompl. Hist. nat., 13 vols.) Histoire des Insectes, 2 Vols. Paris.

This little work, usually cited simply as Blanchard's Hist. Ins., followed the fashion of the period in mixing vernacular names with zoological ones, and careful sifting is needed. Another exasperating feature is the parenthetical mention of one or two species in each genus dealt with. Sometimes the species mentioned is a well-known native one; sometimes it was simply cited as an example of the genus. But occasionally Blanchard used the positive phrase "The type of the genus is . . .", or an equivalent. In this way he made eight designations of type-species among the diurnal Lepidoptera in his volume 2.

One of the eight genera concerned, Charaxes (: 339) is monotypic anyway. For five more; "Melitea" (: 337), Chionobas (: 341), Lycaena (: 344), Pamphila (: 347) and Tanaos (: 348), earlier designations already stood. Two were here new; Helicopis cupido (: 346), which involves no change, and Syrichtus malvae (: 348) which, although disagreeing with Hemming, 1967 : 423, does agree with the pre-1967 view (e.g. Evans, 1949, Cat. Hesp. Eur. Asia Austr. in B.M. : 187) that Syrichtus is invalid and Muschampia is valid.

Necessary notes are included in the Corrigenda. It is also noted that Blanchard here (: 342-343) treated the two subfamilies 1. "LYCéNITES", 2. "ERYCINITES" as forming the Family "ERYCINIENS".]

Muschampia Tutt, 1906 is thus valid.

The higher classification used here follows Lamas (2008).

Learn more about Hesperiidae in Wikipedia

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

Junior name(s):
Hemiteleomorpha Warren, 1926: 19, 72.
Ramburia Warren, 1926: 15.
Synchthus ; Strand, 1898: 60.
Syrichthus ; Erichson, 1849: 604.
Syricthus ; Boisduval, 1840: 35.
Syriethus ; Sharp, 1921: 179.
Syrithus ; Möschler, 1864: 193.
Urbanus Hübner, 1806: [1].

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