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Riodinidae Grote 1895


Andrew V. Z. Brower
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taxon links [up-->]Helicopini [up-->]Stalachtini [up-->]Eurybiini [up-->]Nemeobiinae [up-->]Riodinini [up-->]Nymphidiini [up-->]Euselasiini [up-->]Riodininae - incertae sedis [up-->]Mesosemiini [up-->]Symmachiini [up-->]Stygini [up-->]Corrachiini Not Monophyletic[down<--]Papilionoidea Interpreting the tree
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This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

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Containing group: Papilionoidea


Riodinidae are a pantropical family, with the majority of species occurring in the neotropics.

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

The tree shown is implied by classifications of Harvey (1987), Corbet et al. (1992), Campbell et al. (2000), Hall (2003) and Lamas (2004), and should be viewed as an informal hypothesis in need of corroboration.


Although Erycinidae Swainson 1827 appears to be a senior name to Riodinidae Grote 1895, the type genus Erycina Fabricius 1807 is a junior homonym of Erycina Lamarck 1805 (a genus of bivalve mollusk). A family-group name cannot be based on a generic name that is a junior homonym (ICZN Article 39), so Swainson's Erycinidae is invalid. The Commission ruled (ICZN opinion 1073, 1977) that the family group name for this taxon should be Riodinidae Grote 1895 (1827), based on the replacement generic name Riodina that was selected by Westwood [1851], even though there are alternative family-group names with priority (e. g., Nemeobiinae Bates [1868]; Mesosemiini Bates 1859). (Bates employed Erycinidae as the family-group name for these subordinate taxa). This is one of the more confusing puzzles in butterfly nomenclature.

Other Names for Riodinidae Grote 1895


Ackery, P. R., R. de Jong, and R. I. Vane-Wright. 1999. The butterflies: Hedyloidea, Hesperioidea, and Papilionoidea. Pages 264-300 in: Lepidoptera: Moths and Butterflies. 1. Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography. Handbook of Zoology Vol. IV, Part 35. N. P. Kristensen, ed. De Gruyter, Berlin and New York.

Bridges CA. 1988. Catalogue of family-group and genus-group names (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera). Charles A. Bridges, Urbana, IL.

Campbell, D. L., Brower, A. V. Z. & Pierce, N. E. 2000. Molecular evolution of the wingless gene and its implications for the phylogenetic placement of the butterfly family Riodinidae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea). Mol. Biol. Evol. 17, 684-696.

Corbet AS, Pendlebury HM, and Eliot JN. 1992. The butterflies of the Malay Peninsula. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur.

Devries, P. J. 1997. The Butterflies of Costa Rica and Their Natural History: Riodinidae. Princeton University Press, N. J.

Hall, J. P. W. 2003 Phylogenetic reassessment of the five forewing radial-veined tribes of Riodininae (Lepidoptera: Riodininae. The Royal Entomological Society 28, 23-37.

Harvey, D. J. 1987. The higher classification of the Riodinidae (Lepidoptera). vii + 215 + [1] pp. Ph. D . Thesis, University of Texas, Austin.

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

Title Illustrations
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Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Melanis pixe
Location Rio Grande, Texas, USA
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Red Bordered Pixie
Source Collection Flickr
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © 2008 crookrw
Scientific Name Calephelis virginiensis
Location Okeechobee County, Florida, USA
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source Collection BugGuide.Net
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © Jeff Hollenbeck
Scientific Name Rhetus arcius
Location El Naranjo, San Luis Potosi, Mexico
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By Gill Carter
Life Cycle Stage adult
View dorsal
Source Arcius Swordtail
Source Collection Neotropical Butterflies
Copyright © 2003 Gill Carter
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 Riodinidae Grote 1895. Metalmarks. 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. Riodinidae Grote 1895. Metalmarks. Version 01 January 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Riodinidae/12174/2008.01.01 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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