Cock, Matthew J. W. & Congdon, Colin E., 2012, Observations on the biology of Afrotropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera) principally from Kenya. Part 4. Hesperiinae: Aeromachini and Baorini, Zootaxa 3438, pp. 1-42: 6

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.246331


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BAORINI   Doherty, 1886

In a list of the butterflies of Kumaon (in the Indian Himalayas adjacent to Nepal), Doherty (1886) divided the Hesperiidae   into four subfamilies based on the morphology of the ova (or as he put it, their ovation). One of these was Baorinae, containing the Cyclopides   and Baoris   groups, the former containing Ochus subvittatus (Moore)   (= Cyclopides subvittatus   ) (Aeromachini) and three species of Celaenorrhinus   (Pyrginae, Celaenorrhinini   ), and the latter containing five species currently placed in Baorini   , Pelopidas assamensis De Nicéville   (= Parnara assamensis   ), P. m a t h i a s (Fabricius) (= Chapra mathias   ), P. s i n e n s i s Mabille (= Chapra prominens Moore   ), Parnara bada Moore   , Gegenes nostradamus (Fabricius)   (= Chapra karsana Moore   ), six other Hesperiinae   not belonging to Baorini   as currently constituted, and another species of Celaenorrhinus   . It is not clear why Doherty referred to the second group as the Baoris   group, since he does not refer to any species in that genus.

Bell (1920) reintroduced the subfamily Baorinae, to include the genera Baoris Moore   , Caltoris Swinhoe   , Chapra Moore   (i.e. Pelopidas   and Borbo   in current usage), Parnara   , Gegenes   and Iton De Nicéville. Further   , he characterises Baorinae based on the biology:

“Eggs quite smooth. Naked-looking, whitish larvae feeding upon bamboos, grasses or palms. Pupa naked, with a

long beak between the eyes, light green with a slight powdering of waxy excretion; no spiracular expansions; a long,

spatulate cremastral segment. It is formed on the underside of a leaf or blade with tail-pad and body-string, quite

unprotected, except that the edges of the blade are drawn towards each other slightly by a few silks—they are never

brought together completely. There is a single exception in Parnara bada   where the pupa is of the erynnine type

[Bell’s Erynninae comprises Erynnis   and ten other genera, none of which occur in Africa] and the cell is tightly

closed. Indeed, this insect should be included in that subfamily preferably. Parnara canaraica   [now placed in

Caltoris   ] has its pupa and cell and larva normal for Baorinae. The insects all rest as in Erynninae and bask similarly.”

Nearly 100 years later, based on our review of the African Baorini   , we find that there is little we can add to Bell’s characterisation, except we have an alternative interpretation of the placement of Parnara   (see concluding discussion).

The tribe Baorini   , as accepted by Warren et al. (2008, 2009) is very close to the group defined by Bell (1920). Baorini   matches Evans’ (1937 a) African Gegenes   group (less the genera Fresna Evans   , Melphina Evans   , and Platylesches   Holland, which are dicotyledon feeders and currently placed incertae sedis) and Evans’ (1949) Eurasia-Australian Gegenes   group. Thus Baorini   includes the following genera which occur in Africa: Brusa   , Zenonia   , Gegenes   , Parnara   , Borbo   and Pelopidas   . Of these, the last four also occur in Asia, together with five other genera not found in Africa.