Empyreuma species and species limits: Evidence from morphology and molecules (Arctiidae: Arctiinae: Ctenuchini)

Susan J. Weller, Rebecca B. Simmons, Anders L. Carlson

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11 Scopus citations


Species limits within Empyreuma are addressed using a morphological study of male and female genitalia and sequence data from the mitochondrial gene COI. Currently, four species are recognized: E. pugione (L.), E. affinis Rothschild, E. heros Bates, E. anassa Forbes. Two entities can be readily distinguished, the Jamaican E. anassa and a widespread E. pugione-complex, based on adult morphology. Neither E. affinis nor E. heros can be distinguished by coloration or genitalic differences. Analysis of COI haplotypes suggests that E. affinis is not genetically distinct from E. pugione (<1% sequence divergence); however, the population from the Bahamas, E. heros, is differentiated from other haplotypes with an uncorrected sequence divergence of 5%. We place E. affinis Rothschild, 1912 as a new synonym of E. pugione Hübner 1818, and recognize three species: E. anassa, E. pugione, and E. heros. This paper includes a revised synonymic checklist of species and a redescription of the genus, with notes on biology, and with illustrations of male genitalia, female genitalia, wing venation, and abdominal sclerites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Lepidopterists' Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 22 2004


  • Caribbean fauna
  • Greater Antilles
  • Mimicry
  • Phylogeography
  • Systematics


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