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Actinote Hübner 1819

Andrew V. Z. Brower
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taxon links [up-->]Actinote serena [up-->]neotropical Actinote clade [up-->]Actinote acuta [up-->]Actinote oberthueri [up-->]Actinote orestia [up-->]Actinote bonasia [up-->]Actinote polis [up-->]Actinote acerata Phylogenetic position of group is uncertain[down<--]Acraeini Interpreting the tree
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Containing group: Acraeini


Actinote as currently circumscribed is an acraeine genus that has a nearly pantropical distribution, with about 1/4 of its species in South America, one (A. issoria) in Australia and New Guinea, and the rest in Africa and Madagascar. In all regions, many species are involved in Müllerian mimicry complexes.

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

The tree shown is a composite based upon the morphological phylogenetic analysis of Pierre (1987) and the molecular analysis by Silva-Brandão et al. (2008). The relationships among the neotropical taxa are based on the latter, while the deeper structure of the tree and African species groups are based on the former. Note that Silva-Brandão et al. found neotropical Actinote to be monophyletic as sister group to a polyphyletic grade of members of the genera Altinote and Abananote. There is thus some rather severe nomenclatorial chaos implied, if one wishes genera to be monophyletic groups. The type of the genus Actinote is Papilio thalia L., a neotropical species. African "Actinote" could be called Telchinia (type species Papilo serena Fabr.) if Silva-Brandão et al.'s hypothesis that they are a monophyletic group holds up with increased sampling of African species.

(The neotropical clade is nested high in the tree of African species groups in Pierre's (1987) scheme shown here).

Other Names for Actinote Hübner 1819


Ackery PR, Smith CR, and Vane-Wright RI eds. 1995. Carcasson's African butterflies. Canberra: CSIRO.

Lamas G ed. 2004. Checklist: Part 4A Hesperioidea - Papiionoidea. Gainesville: Scientific Publishers/Association of Tropical Lepidoptera.

Larsen, T. B. 1991 Butterflies of Kenya and their natual history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Larsen, T. B. 2005 Butterflies of West Africa. Stenstrup, Denmark: Apollo Books.

Parsons M. 1999. The butterflies of Papua New Guinea: their systematics and biology. Academic Press, San Diego.

Lees DC, Kremen C, and Raharitsimba T. 2003. Classification, diversity and endemism ofthe butterflies (Papilionoidea and Hesperioidea): a revised species checklist. In: Goodman SM and Benstead JP, eds. The Natural History of Madagascar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 762-793.

Pierre, J. 1987 Systématique cladistique chez les Acraea (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae). Annls. Soc. Ent. Fr. (N. S.) 23, 11-27.

Silva-Brandao, K. L., Wahlberg, N., Francini, R. B., Azeredo-Espin, A. M. L., Brown, K. S. J., Paluch, M., Lees, D. C. & Freitas, A. V. L. 2008 Phylogenetic relationships of butterflies of the tribe Acraeini (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae, Heliconiinae) and the evolution of host plant use. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 46, 515-531.

Information on the Internet

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Actinote melampeplos
Location Near Mindo, Ecuador
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Melampeplos Actinote
Source Collection Neotropical Butterflies
Copyright © 2004 Kim Garwood
Scientific Name Actinote thalia
Location Conseicao Sao Paulo, Brazil
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Thalia Actinote
Source Collection Neotropical Butterflies
Copyright © 2004 Rick Simpson
Scientific Name Actinote bonasia
Location Nigeria: Port Harcourt
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By Dirk Motshagen
Life Cycle Stage adult
View dorsal
Source Collection Nigeria butterflies
Copyright © 2009 Dirk Motshagen
Scientific Name Actinote anteas
Location Belize
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Anteas Actinote
Source Collection Neotropical Butterflies
Copyright © 2004 BF
About This Page

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Andrew V. Z. Brower at

Page: Tree of Life Actinote Hübner 1819. Authored by Andrew V. Z. Brower. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Brower, Andrew V. Z. 2008. Actinote Hübner 1819. Version 23 July 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Actinote/70399/2008.07.23 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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