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

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Lymnas Blanchard, 1840 , in Castelnau. Hist. nat. Ins. 3 : 464.    [BHLBHL]

Available Name

Homonyms: 1

Higher classification:

Hesperia electron Fabricius, 1793. Entomologia systematica : 321.

Type-species designation:
by original designation .

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

Hemming (1967) stated:-

The taxon represented by the nominal species Hesperia electron Fabricius is currently treated subjectively on taxonomic grounds as being the same as that represented by the older-established nominal species Papilio iarbas Fabricius, 1787 (Mantissa Ins. 2 : 83).

Blanchard attributed the name Lymnas to Boisduval and it cannot be doubted that, in using this name, he had in mind the name Limnas Boisduval, [1836], for quite apart from the great similarity of the names Lymnas and Limnas and the fact that the first was attributed to Boisduval by its author and the second was published by Boisduval, it must be noted that Hesperia electron Fabricius and Limnas pixe Boisduval, the respective type-species of these genera, are closely allied to one another and are indeed even today considered to be congeneric with one another. In most cases these indications would be sufficient to justify the conclusion that Lymnas Blanchard was no more than an Incorrect Subsequent Spelling of Limnas Boisduval, [1836]. In the present instance however it would be unwise to draw any such conclusion. First - and this is very important - Boisduval, above all his contemporaries, was notorious for the way in which he put into an irregular circulation manuscript names of his own devising, many of which were first published by other authors - often with an attribution to Boisduval - at various later dates. In the present case Boisduval had published the name Limnas four years before the publication of Blanchard's book. There is no evidence however to show that Blanchard had himself seen Boisduval's Species général. Indeed, such indications as there are point in the opposite direction. These included (i) the use of the spelling Lymnas in place of Boisduval's spelling Limnas - a change in spelling which is not an emendation and is most unlikely to have been made if Boisduval's book had been available for study but which is readily understandable if it is assumed that Blanchard only knew of Limnas as a manuscript name - (ii) the fact that Blanchard cited for this genus species quite different from the sole species placed in Limnas by Boisduval and made no reference to the species cited by Boisduval, and (iii) the fact that Blanchard designated a type-species for this genus, which he would not have been likely to do if he had been aware that Boisduval had established the genus Limnas on the basis of a single species - a species which was not the one which Blanchard designated as the type-species of his Lymnas. While absolute certainty is not possible on the information available, it seems probable on the whole that, although Blanchard knew of Boisduval's manuscript name Limnas, he had not himself seen Boisduval's Species général of 1836, and therefore that the name Lymnas should be accepted as an independently published name ranking from Blanchard's work of 1840. Fortunately, any doubts on this score are of no practical importance, for even if it be granted that Lymnas Blanchard is a properly established name, it is not required according to modern taxonomic ideas, for its type-species, Papilio electron Fabricius is currently treated subjectively as being congeneric with Papilio melander Stoll, [1780] (as interpreted by its lectotype figured by Stoll as fig. B on his plate 136), which is the type-species of the older-established nominal genus Melanis Hübner, [1819].

The higher classification used here follows Lamas (2008).

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

Junior name(s):
Lynmas ; Scudder, 1875: 207.

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