Phoebis Hübner

Murillo-Ramos, Leidys, Torres, Renzo Hernández, Águila, Rayner Núñez & Ayazo, Roger, 2018, New insights on the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of the Neotropical genus Phoebis (Pieridae: Coliadinae) revealed by molecular and morphological data, Zootaxa 4457 (1), pp. 179-188: 182-183

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Phoebis Hübner


Genus Phoebis Hübner  , [1819]

Rhabdodryas Godman & Salvin, 1889  syn. rev.

Aphrissa Butler, 1873  syn. rev.

Type species. Phoebis argante (Fabricius 1775)  , designated by Butler (1873).

Diagnosis (modified from Brown 1931 and Klots 1931). Medium sized to large butterflies ≈ 30-75mm; antenna short with gradual club ( Figure 4 View Figure ). The palpi of both sexes are short and thick (differing from A. Statira  ); forewings apex shape cuneiform, the costal margin is curved and the termen is straight (except in P. neocypris  ). The margins of the wings of the males broadly bordered with mealy scales varying in width according to the species. The males present either with a androconial scales on the caudal edge of the forewings or on the costal margin of hindwings. In A. statira  , P. philea  and P. avellaneda  , androconial scales are found on both wings. In R. trite  and P. argante  androconial scales are modified as a pencil of 'hairs' below Sc+R1 of hindwings. Forewings with R1 and R2 arising from the discal cell. R3 and R4+5 stalked, R4+5 considerably longer than the distance from the end of the cell to its base. mdc slightly more than half as long as ldc. Hindwing with humeral vein very short. R s, M1 and M2 from cell separately with mdc being the shortest of the three discodellulars veins, ldc distinctly angled. Harpe subtriangular; distal process prolonged (quite short in P. sennae  and P. avellaneda  ). Marginal process prominent (except in R. trite  ); annellus slender; juxtae broadly filamentous, leaf-like (in Aphrissa  ). Both uncus and saccus each simple and about equal in length, no dorsal lobe on the uncus; scaphium absent; vinculum slender. Aedeagus slender, straight or undulating; several cornuti in the distal portion.

Remarks. Currently the morphological characters that separate the genera are as follow: for males (i) species of the genus Aphrissa  differ in the leaf-like structure of the juxtae compared to males of Phoebis  in which the juxta is a filamentous and for females, (ii) the terminal joint of the palpi is long and well exposed in females of Aphrissa  while in Phoebis  is very short (Brown 1931; Godman & Salvin 1879 –1901). Rhabdodryas  differs from Phoebis  due to a pencil of hairs below the subcostal vein on the hind wings and patches of scales above the subcostal vein. In general, venation pattern is quite similar among the genera. We agree with Klots (1931) when he said that Phoebis  is a genus within which specific differentiation had proceeded very quickly. Klots (1929, 1931) did not find a strong morphological evidences to divide Phoebis  in to more genera. Instead, the author considered several subgroups inside Phoebis  , very well supported by male genitalia. According to the results found in this study, no further splitting of Phoebis  , Aphrissa  and Rhabdodryas  in two or more genera is corroborated, especially because the morphological characters proposed to separate the genera are not strongly supported by concatenated data set analyses and ancestral state reconstruction. With the herein proposed synonymy, the species included in Aphrissa  and Rhabdodryas  are now part of Phoebis  , as previously stated by Klots (1931).