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Distribution of Afrotropical Kite Swallowtails


Our study revealed 39 species of Afrotropical kite swallowtails belonging to the genus Graphium. As we discuss in the results section, our analysis did not give a simple monophyletic clade containing only the Afrotropical species and no others. Nevertheless, for convenience and pending further work, we continue to place them in the subgenus Graphium (Arisbe).

In the list that follows, those taxa with a thumbnail image are illustrated elsewhere. You can open the full image in a new window by clicking on the thumbnail. Note that the images are not to scale.

You can also open one or other (or both) a the two cladograms by clicking on the images in the results page before returning to this one.

Swordtailed species

Two well-supported clades emerged, the antheus clade with just two species, and the policenes clade with four very similar species.

The antheus clade

Two species linked by features of their pattern and by their genitalia being similar to each other, but quite unlike the other Afrotropical species.

1.   antheus (Cramer, [1779])
2.   evombar (Boisduval, 1836)
          viossati Collins, 1997

The policenes clade

A clade of four very similar species. G. liponesco may be differentiated from the other species by its male genitalia. Otherwise both it and G. biokoensis are very difficult to separate from G. policenes.

3.   policenes (Cramer, [1775])click to open larger image
          telloi Hecq, 1999
4.   liponesco (Suffert, 1904)
5.   biokoensis Gauthier, 1984 (stat. rev. in Smith & Vane-Wright, 2001)
6.   policenoides (Holland, 1892)

The following seven species appear to be paraphyletic.

7.   kirbyi (Hewitson, 1872)

8.   junodi (Trimen, 1893)

9.   polistratus (Grose-Smith, 1889)

10. colonna (Ward, 1873)

11. illyris (Hewitson, 1873 - not 1872 as published)
          flavisparsus (Fruhstorfer, 1903)(stat. rev. in Smith & Vane-Wright, 2001)
          girardeaui Guilbot & Plantrou, 1978
          hamatus (Joicey & Talbot, 1918)

12. gudenusi (Rebel, 1911)click to open larger image

13. porthaon (Hewitson, 1865)
          mackiei Collins & Larsen, 1991
          tanganyikae Kielland, 1978

Short tailed and tailless species

The angolanus clade

A well-supported clade of six species with similar genitalia. The pattern is generally black with white marks above and with brick red areas beneath. In G. endochus the white areas cover most of the wings; in G. ridleyanus the marks are usually bright red.

14. angolanus (Goeze, 1779)click to open larger image
          baronis (Ungemach, 1932)
15. endochus (Boisduval, 1836)
16. morania (Angas, 1849)
17. taboranus (Oberthür, 1886)click to open larger image
18. schaffgotschi (Niepelt, 1927)
19. ridleyanus (White, 1843)click to open larger image

The leonidas group

These three species are usually treated as a species group, but in our analyses they emerged as paraphyletic. G. leonidas and G. cyrnus are black with pale marks: blue in leonidas, yellow in cyrnus. G. levassori is almost entirely white, with a narrow dark margin.

20. leonidas (Fabricius, 1793)click to open larger image
          pelopidas (Oberthür, 1879)
          santamarthae (Joicey & Talbot, 1927)
          thomasius (Le Cerf, 1924)
21. levassori (Oberthür, 1886)click to open larger image
22. cyrnus (Boisduval, 1836)
          nuscyrus (Suffert, 1904)

The tynderaeus clade

Two species with yellow or citrus marks on a dark background above and more complex patterns below.

23. tynderaeus (Fabricius, 1793)click to open larger image
24. latreillianus (Godart, [1819])click to open larger image
          theorini (Aurivillius, 1881)

In our analyses the following species always emerged as part of a polytomous terminal bush with the adamastor group, despite its distinctive appearance and not very similar genitalia.

25. philonoe (Ward, 1873)
          whalleyi (Talbot, 1929)

The adamastor group

A group of 14 similar species that are thought to be general or specific mimicsof Amauris. Their genitalia, as well as their patterns are similar, but our analyses consistently included G. philonoe, so they emerged as paraphyletic. Many are very poorly known — some only from their type series — and their similarity and variability sometimes make them difficult to identify with certainty. There is still scope for much work on this group.

26. adamastor (Boisduval, 1836)click to open larger image
27. agamedes (Westwood, 1842a)
28. schubotzi (Schultze, 1913)(stat. rev. in Smith & Vane-Wright, 2001)
29. olbrechtsi Berger, 1950(stat. rev. in Smith & Vane-Wright, 2001)
          tongoni Berger, 1969 (stat. rev. in Smith & Vane-Wright, 2001)
30.abri Smith & Vane-Wright, 2001click to open larger images
31.almansor (Honrath, 1884)
          birbiri (Ungemach, 1932)
          carchedonius (Karsch, 1895)
          escherichi (Gaede, 1915)
          uganda (Lathy, 1906)
32. auriger (Butler, 1876)(stat. rev. in Smith & Vane-Wright, 2001)
33.fulleri (Grose-Smith, 1883)
          boulleti (Le Cerf, 1912)(stat. rev. in Smith & Vane-Wright, 2001)
          rileyi Berger, 1950
          ucalegonides (Staudinger, 1884)
34. poggianus (Honrath, 1884)
35. kigoma Carcasson, 1964(stat. nov. in Smith & Vane-Wright, 2001)
36.hachei (Dewitz, 1881)
          moebii (Suffert, 1904)
37. aurivilliusi (Seeldrayers, 1896)
38. ucalegon (Hewitson, 1865)click to open larger image
          fontainei Berger, 1981
          schoutedeni Berger, 1950
39. simoni (Aurivillius, 1899)