Natural History Museums in Germany/Agrias aedon ab. magdalenae

Claus Rasmussen clausr at LIFE.UIUC.EDU
Mon Dec 20 09:35:02 CST 2004

Please find below the following response from Dr. Gerardo Lamas on the
issue of Agrias aedon ab. magdalenae.

Dear Jim Hanlon,

Arnold Schultze (not "Schultz") described in 1928 an infrasubspecific
form of Agrias aedon Hewitson, 1848, from Colombia, Cerro El Mico, 500m,
as "Agrias aedon ab. magdalenae". That name is nomenclaturally
unavailable, by reason of being expressly infrasubspecific. The
(unnecessary) replacement name Agrias aedon aedon schultzei, introduced by
Rebillard in 1961, is equally unavailable by reason of being a
quadrinomial, thus clearly infrasubspecific. Rebillard's name was
absolutely superfluous,
since magdalenae Schultze, 1928 cannot be regarded as a junior homonym
of Agrias pericles xanthippus ab. magdalenae Le Moult, 1927, the latter
also being an unavailable name. (Such names were definitely *not*
established for subspecies.)

The unique male "holotype" of magdalenae Schultze is most likely lost.
It has not been found in any institutional collection in Germany
(including Berlin, Frankfurt, and Hamburg, where most types of Schultze are

The subspecific name Agrias aedon aedon Hewitson, 1848 is applied to
the populations occurring from Panama to northern Colombia and
northwestern Venezuela. In 1895 Fruhstorfer described Agrias salvini from
Colombia, Manaure, currently regarded as a junior subjective synonym of A.
aedon aedon; ab. magdalenae Schultze and "schultzei" Rebillard are also
listed as synonyms of aedon aedon. The two other recognised subspecies of
aedon are a. rodriguezi Schaus, 1918, distributed from Mexico to Costa
Rica; and a. pepitoensis Michael, 1930, from western Colombia (see the
very recently published Checklist of Neotropical Butterflies, edited by
myself and published by the Association for Tropical Lepidoptera).  I
know of no valid taxonomic or biogeographical reason to regard the
northern Colombia (Santa Marta area) populations as a separate subspecies,
as the amount of blue on the uppersdide of the wings appears to be an
individually variable trait (cf. comments by Neild in "Butterflies of
Venezuela", vol. 1), like in many other Agrias populations. If, however,
hard data were available demonstrating that the aedon populations from
the Santa Marta area are subspecifically "distinct" from populations
further south (i.e., from the Muzo area, the most likely type locality for
aedon aedon), then the name salvini Fruhstorfer would be available for
the SM "subspecies".

Dr Gerardo Lamas
Departamento de Entomología
Museo de Historia Natural
Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos
Apartado 14-0434, Lima-14, PERU
Tel. (+51-1)471-0117, ext. 27; Fax (+51-1)265-6819
e-mail: glamasm at

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