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

Genus details

Search again

Taenaris Hübner, 1819 . Verz. bekannt. Schmett. : 52. [as "Taenares"]    [BHLBHL]

Available Name

Homonyms: 1

Higher classification:

Taenaris nysa Hübner, 1819. Verz. bekannt. Schmett. : 53. [(as Tenaris [sic] nysa)]    [BHLBHL]

Type-species designation:
by subsequent designation by Hemming , 1964. Annot. lep. : 123.

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

Lectotype Desig. by:Hemming, 1967, for plate 185 fig. A in Cramer, 1777, Uitl. Kapellen

Hemming (1967) stated:-

as defined by the specimen figured as fig. A on plate 185 in volume 3 of Cramer's Uitl. Kapellen, published in 1777, and described on page 134 in Part 16 of the same volume, where it was attributed to the older-established nominal species Papilio jairus Cramer, [1775] (loc. cit. 1 (1) : 9)), the specimen so figured having been selected by Hemming (1964, Annot. lep. (3) : 94) to represent the lectotype of the present species.

The present generic name was published in two original spellings, first (: 52) in a cross-heading in German and Latin as "Tänaren" and "Taenaris" respectively and, second (: 53), as Tenaris in the list of species placed in this genus. Under Article 32 (b) the question as to which of two or more original spellings is to be accepted as correct depends on the choice of the First Reviser. In the present case, this choice was made by Hübner himself in 1821 (Index exot. Lep. : [4]) when he adopted for this name the spelling "Taenaris", which thus became the Correct Original Spelling of this name. Five years later in 1826 he repeated this choice on page 7 of the index (Anzeiger) to the Verzeichniss itself.

The nominal genus Taenaris was established by Hübner for two nominal species, which he named Tenaris [sic] vita and Tenaris nysa respectively. These nominal species, like all others established in the Verzeichniss, were based solely upon previously published figures or descriptions. In the case of each of these nominal species Hübner cited plates previously published by Cramer for his nominal species Papilio jairus. For his Tenaris jaira Hübner cited, though with a mark of interrogation, figs A & B on Cramer's pl. 6 (i.e. the figures of the syntypes of Papilio jairus Cramer), together with his own figures on pl. [84] of volume 1 of the Samml. exot. Schmett. For his second nominal species, Tenaris nysa, Hübner cited only the three figs (A, B, & C) given by Cramer on his pl. 185 on the second occasion on which he dealt with what he still called by the name Papilio jairus. It is not easy to understand the basis of the grouping adopted by Hübner, for the two sets of syntypes of his Tenaris jaira consisted respectively of the palest and darkest forms (Cramer's pl. 6 and Hübner's own plate [see Cowan, 1968. Annot Rhop.: 14]) of the species named Papilio jairus by Cramer on the basis of his plate 6, while Hübner's Tenaris nysa based on Cramer's figures on his plate 185, is also a dark form but one much less dark than the specimen which Hübner had figured and which (as shown above) he included in his Tenaris jaira in the Verzeichniss. It is currently considered that all the forms shown on the plates discussed above are referable to a single species, namely Papilio jairus Cramer. It is further considered that the taxon represented by the foregoing nominal species is the same as that represented by the older-established nominal species Papilio urania Linnaeus, 1758 (Syst. Nat. (ed. 10) 1 : 466). From the diagnosis given by Linnaeus it is clear that the form represented by Linnaeus' specimen (in Queen Ludovico Ulrica's collection) was the pale one shown on Cramer's plate 6.

Scudder (1875, Proc. amer. Acad. Arts Sci., Boston 10: 274), made a type selection which, though comprehensible viewed from the taxonomic point of view, was invalid nomenclatorially. In the paper in question Scudder adopted for species the synonymies established by Kirby in 1871 in his Syn. Cat. diurn. Lep. and accordingly in the present case he adopted the specific name urania Linnaeus, to which he sank the names of the two species recognized by Hübner (jaira and nysa) as synonyms; on this basis Scudder designated urania Linnaeus as the type-species of Taenaris. This action is invalid, for the name urania Linnaeus was not cited at all by Hübner in connection with the name Taenaris. Nor can the fact that, when he designated the non-included species urania Linnaeus as the type-species of Taenaris.. Nor can the fact that, when he designated the non-included species urania Linnaeus as type-species, he cited as synonyms of urania Linnaeus the names of the nominal species that were actually placed in this genus by Hübner be [see Cowan 1968: 14) held to have validated Scudder's action, for under Article 69 (a) (iv) a type-selection made in this way through synonymizing an included nominal species with a non-included species (such as urania Linnaeus) is valid only if the author making the type-selection synonymizes in this way one but not more than one of the included nominal species, for, as has been seen, Scudder cited as synonyms of urania the names of two - that is, of both - Hübner's included nominal species. Scudder's action was however adopted by later authors who accepted Papilio urania Linnaeus as the type-species of Taenaris, and that genus is still interpreted in this sense to the present day. Nevertheless, from a nomenclatorial point of this genus remained without a validly fixed type-species, until the species cited at the head of the present note was selected by myself.

When I came to consider which of Hübner's nominal species was the most suitable for selection as type-species, I decided against that author's nominal species Tenaris jaira, for (as already noted) Hübner included under it the reference to Cramer's plate 6 with a note of interrogation - thus rendering the specimens represented by the figures on that plate ineligible for selection to represent the lectotype, while the specimen shown on Hübner's own plate (the only other figure which he cited) represented a very melanic form and was therefore unsuitable for selection to represent the lectotype. I therefore decided in favour of selecting as the type-species of the genus Taenaris the second of the two nominal species cited by Hübner as belonging to this genus, namely Tenaris nysa. The three figures given by Cramer on his plate 185, on which this nominal species was based, showed considerable differences as between one another, and I therefore decided to select the specimen represented by one of these figures to represent the lectotype of that species, before selecting the species itself to be the type-species of the genus Taenaris. For this purpose I selected the specimen represented by fig. A on Cramer's plate 185.

Cowan (1970: 38) stated:-

"TAENARIS Hübner, [1819], Verz. bek. Schmett. (4) : 52, 53. A justified Emendation. Type-species by designation by Hemming (1964, Annot. Rep. (4) : 123) : Tenaris [sic] nysa Hübner [1819], ibid. (4) : 53.

Hemming upholds this spelling on the premise that, of two original spellings (Tenaris and Taenaris), Hübner as first reviser selected the latter. If this is tenable, well and good. But it is very doubtful if Taenaris can be held to be an original spelling at all, and the following alternative justification is suggested.

Hübner headed the treatment of this genus, as he did for all genera in the work, with the generic name in the plural form in German, and then in "Latin". His heading here (: 52) read; "Tänaren, Taenares" the "ä", of course, being equivalent in German to "ae". This showed that Hübner intended to use the generic name proper Taenaris. But when (: 53) he listed the two species, the name " Tenaris" appeared against the first, with the normal " T." against the second. Thus although the generic name only appeared once, as "Tenaris", there is here clear evidence that that was a lapsus and that Taenaris was intended.

This is a straightforward case caning for automatic emendation under Articles 32a (ii) and 32c, and in fact Hübner himself introduced this automatic emendation in [1826], Verz. bek. Schmett. (Anzeiger) : 7, where he indexed the name as Taenaris.

Thus Taenaris is a Justified Emendation; it replaces the Incorrect Original Spelling" Tenaris", and it assumes the authorship and date Hübner, [1819] as shown above."

TAENARIS was included within the subfamily NYMPHALIDAE: MORPHINAE by Ackery et al., in Kristensen (1999).

The higher classification used here follows Lamas (2008).

Learn more about Nymphalidae in Wikipedia

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

Junior name(s):
Drusilla Swainson, 1820: pl.11.
Hiades ; Guérin-Méneville, 1838: 318.
Hyades Boisduval, 1832: 157.
Tenaris Hübner, 1819: 53.

Submit correction/addition