Revisiting the Andean butterfly Eryphanis zolvizora group (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae): one or several species?

Patrick Blandin, Roger Bristow, Andrew Neild, Juan Carlos de Sousa, Yuvinka Gareca, Blanca Huertas

Abstract


Eryphanis zolvizora (Hewitson, 1877) is a rare Andean endemic butterfly, described from Bolivia, which has been historically classified either as a unique species, or as part of a group of three allopatric species from Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia. In this paper, the group is revised using more than 200 specimens housed in 34 European, and North and South American public and private collections. For the first time, the presence of the group in Western Ecuador and Venezuela is confirmed, and important data on Peruvian populations are provided. In some populations, individual variations of genitalia are observed. Nevertheless, male genitalia allow the distinction of four geographical groups. Considering also habitus characters, eight taxa are distinguished and considered to be subspecies, of which five are new: Eryphanis zolvizora inca ssp. nov., Eryphanis zolvizora chachapoya ssp. nov., Eryphanis zolvizora casagrande ssp. nov.., Eryphanis zolvizora reyi ssp. nov., and Eryphanis zolvizora isabelae ssp. nov.  In the present state of knowledge, these taxa are allopatric, except for a possible geographic overlap in central Peru, where data are insufficient to prove sympatry. The “several subspecies vs. several species” dilemma is discussed, considering its impact for conservation action and policies.

Keywords


Morphinae; Brassolini; Eryphanis zolvizora group; subspecies; taxonomic inflation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2014.71

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