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Genitalia, DNA barcodes, and life histories synonymize Telles with Thracides--a genus in which Telles arcalaus looks out of place (Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae)




  • Independent characters-genitalia (male and female), DNA barcodes, and larval foodplants-show that Telles arcalaus (Stoll), despite its exceedingly distinctive facies and small size, belongs in the genus Thracides, where it relates closely to Thracides phidon (Cramer). Because phidon and arcalaus are the type species of their respective genera and Thracides is the older name, Telles is a synonym of Thracides. Because the only other species in Telles, T. pyrex Evans, is not a species of Thracides, it is incertae sedis. Either in Trinidad or in Para. Brazil, as in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica, caterpillars of Thracides phidon and Thracides arcalaus, new combination, eat plants in the genera Heliconia and Musa (Zingriberales), whereas members of the Thracides uanea species complex eat Cyclanthus and Asplundia (Cyclanthaceae). Taxa of the mostly South American nanea species complex include Thracides nida Evans, new status and, in ACG T. chiricana Rober, new status. For now, owing to the numbers of cryptic species recently discovered within supposedly well-known species of neotropic hesperiids, the taxa treated here are viewed as morphospecies. DNA barcodes, which have proved so useful in distinguishing among cryptic species, are noteworthy ill this study for supporting the union in a single genus of ostensibly unrelated species.

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Publication Date

  • 2009


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  • 141

End Page

  • 153


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