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

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Chrysophanus Hübner, 1818 . Zutr. Samml. exot. Schmett. 1 : 24.    [BHLBHL]

Suppressed Name

Homonyms: 1

Higher classification:

Chrysophanus mopsus Hübner, 1818. Zutr. Samml. exot. Schmett. 1: 24, pl.[24], figs 135-136.

Type-species designation:
by subsequent designation by Riley , 1922. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 28(2): 467.    [BHLBHL]

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

Hemming (1967) stated:-The name Chrysophanus Hübner has had a most unfortunate history as the result of having been published in different senses by Hübner in each of two works issued at dates very close to one another, the later of these works having for long been erroneously believed to be the earlier. As shown above, the earlier of the two occasions on which the name Chrysophanus was published was in the first volume of Hübner's Zuträge zur Sammlung exotischer Schmetterlinge which was issued in 1818. The later occasion on which the name Chrysophanus was published by Hübner was when it appeared in that author's Verzeichniss bekannter Schmettlinge (on page 72 in signature 5). The dates of publication of the various instalments in which this latter work was published was for long a matter of argument and doubt. These doubts were only set at rest finally on the publication in 1937 (Hemming, Hübner 1 : 517) of the evidence provided by the then recently discovered surviving Hübner manuscripts. This evidence showed conclusively that the relevant portion of the Verzeichniss was not published until 1819. It followed that it was in volume 1 of the Zuträge and not in the Verzeichniss, as previously supposed, that the name Chrysophanus was first published.

The first author to select a type-species for this genus was Scudder who, in the belief that this name had first been published in the Verzeichniss, selected Papilio hyllus Cramer, [1775] in 1872 (4th Ann. Rep. Peabody Acad. Sci. 1871 : 56). In 1875 (Proc. amer. Acad. Arts Sci., Boston 10 : 141-142) he concluded that the above selection offended against the "principle of elimination" and was consequently out of order, and he thereupon selected Papilio hippothoe, 1761, as type-species. Both these selections were invalid, because neither of the species concerned was included in Chrysophanus in the Zuträge. Both these species belong to the Palaearctic and Nearctic group known of Lycaenids known to lepidopterists in all English-speaking countries as "The Coppers". In consequence of Scudder's action, the name Chrysophanus was almost exclusively used for this group, so much so indeed that the name Chrysophanus immediately evokes in the mind of the reader the "Coppers Group" and no other. The first author to deal with the genus Chrysophanus was Riley (1922) who, overlooking the fact that, in addition to giving a full description and figure of one species (Chrysophanus mopsus) Hübner had cited the name of another species as belonging to this genus, stated that Chrysophanus mopsus was the type-species by monotypy. Though his premises were unsound, Riley's action constitutes a valid type-selection of the above species, which is far removed from the "Coppers" and belonging to the large (at present unrevised) assemblage of largely New World "Hairstreak" Lycaenids, known loosely as the Strymonids.

The overthrow of the long-established use of the name Chrysophanus for the "Coppers" and its transfer to the Strymonid "Hairstreaks" would have caused an intolerable state of confusion. It was accordingly decided to call in the aid of the Commission. In the form finally adopted this application asked for the suspension of the name Chrysophanus Hübner, 1818, under the Plenary Powers for the purposes of the Law of Priority but not for those of the Law of Homonymy. The effect of the decision would make it impossible thereafter validly to use the generic name Chrysophanus Hübner and impossible also to use any later generic name consisting of the word "Chrysophanus", as any such name would be invalid as a junior homonym of Chrysophanus Hübner which under the proposal was to be kept alive for this limited purpose only.

The proposal so submitted was approved by the Commission, the decision of that body being embodied in its Opinion 541. This was published in 1959 (Opin. int. Comm. zool. Nom. 20 : 87-102). By the ruling so given the generic name Chrysophanus Hübner, 1818, was suppressed under the Plenary Powers. On being so invalidated, this name was then placed. on the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Generic Names in Zoology as Name No. 1235.

Cowan (1970: 44) stated:-

" : 18 to read - : 24", [genus page].

Chrysophanus Hübner, 1818 is a preoccupied nam and was replaced by Harkenclenus by Dos Passos, 1970, J. Lepid. Soc. 24 : ????.

The higher classification used here follows Lamas (2008).

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

Senior name:
Satyrium Scudder, 1876: 106.

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