Cock, Matthew J. W. & Congdon, T. Colin E., 2011, Observations on the biology of Afro-tropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera) principally from Kenya. Part 2. Pyrginae: Tagiadini 2893, Zootaxa 2893 (1), pp. 1-66 : 5-8

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https://doi.org/ 10.11646/zootaxa.2893.1.1

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In the classification of Warren et al. (2009), the Neotropical Pyrrhopygini , together with Palaeotropical Tagiadini and Pantropical Celaenorrhini, form one major lineage. Warren et al. (2009) point out that several characters partly characterize the Pyrrhopygini , including the blunt-tipped, stout, antennal apiculus, bent at its commencement, a condition also seen in several genera of Tagiadini . In addition, all known caterpillars and pupae of Pyrrhopygini are covered in long, fine hairs ( Moss 1949; Burns & Janzen 2001, Cock 2008), although caterpillars of at least some species in most groups of Hesperiidae are also hairy, and pupae of many groups are at least weakly hairy.

Warren et al. (2009) note that the presence of “anal wool” on females apparently serves as a synapomorphy for the Tagiadini , although it is absent in some genera (e.g. Calleagris ) and species ( Table 1). In Hesperiidae , this anal wool is considered to consist of hair-like flat deciduous scales that are tightly wrinkled, and packed tightly onto the terminal edge of the eighth abdominal segment. Often, perhaps always, these scales are pasted to the surface of eggs during the final phase of oviposition ( Bell 1923a, b; Bascombe et al. 1999; Larsen 2005). Evans used the presence of anal wool to group various genera in his African Celaenorrhinus group ( Evans 1937) and his Asia– Australian Tagiades group ( Evans 1949). Eliot (1978) notes that most species of the Asian Tagiades group (which includes some Celaenorrhini) have an “anal tuft” in the female. Warren et al. (2008) report anal wool for the following genera: Daimio , Darpa , Odontoptilum and Tagiades . Odina hieroglyphica (Butler) also lays eggs covered with scales ( Tan 2008a), and those of Coladenia indrani (Moore) always have some “scales from the abdomen of the female” on them sometimes covering the surface, sometimes only a few ( Bell 1923b). Gerosis phisara (Moore) and Abraximorpha davidii (Mabille) lay bare eggs ( Bascombe et al. 1999). We will discuss below the extent to which this characterisation of anal wool covers the African Tagiadini that we have reared.

the egg covering if present.

The food plants are varied and do not show any clear patterns. Two genera are recorded from the monocotyledon family Dioscoreaceae , while the remaining food plant families are dicotyledons. The African species are recorded from: Anacardiaceae , Annonaceae , Cannabaceae , Dioscoreaceae , Erythroxylaceae , Euphorbiaceae , Fabaceae , Malvaceae (including former families Bombacaceae , Sterculiaceae and Tiliaceae ), Phyllanthaceae , Rhamnacaeae,? Rosaceae ,? Rutaceae , Sapindaceae , and Violaceae . Of these, the most consistently used is Malvaceae , and all African genera have been recorded to use this family. The food plant families known for the Asian genera of Tagiadini are also varied ( Table 2), but Malvaceae are not consistently used.

Warren et al. (2009) note that a group of Tagiadini comprising Abantis , Caprona , Netrobalane and Leucochitonea may represent a subtribal (or tribal) entity, and this is supported by our observations below, where we introduce the term Abantis group for these four genera. Adults of this group have antennal clubs resembling those of Pyrrhopygini . Warren et al. (2009) place the Abantis group in Tagiadini based on the presence of anal wool, and suggest that if the condition of the antennal club in these genera is homologous with that of Pyrrhopygini , characters of the Abantis group appear to further support the relationship between Tagiadini and Pyrrhopygini indicated by their analysis. However, they note that immature stages of the Abantis group are unusual, and possess many characters that are likely to be phylogenetically informative and conclude that further study of this group is needed. Here we present life history on three of the four genera, which show them to be distinct from other groups of Pyrginae .

Warren et al. (2009) consider that adults of most genera of Tagiadini bask and rest with wings held flat, although those of Abantis , Caprona and probably Netrobalane and Leucochitonea rest with wings held erect (although they bask with wings held flat), as in many species of Pyrrhopygini . We will comment on this aspect for the species familiar to us.

In addition to 18 genera restricted to Asia, the following African genera are included in the tribe Tagiadini :

Eagris Guenée, 1863 (about 12 species, Africa only)

Procampta Holland, 1892 (1 species, Africa only)

Calleagris Aurivillius, 1925 (7 species, Africa only)

Tagiades Hübner, 1819 in Hübner (1816 –[1826]) (3 species in Africa; also in Asia)

Netrobalane Mabille, 1903 (1 species; Africa only)

Caprona Wallengren, 1857 (3 species in Africa; also in Asia)

Leucochitonea Wallengren, 1857 (3 species; Africa only)

Abantis Hopffer, 1885 (about 20 species; Africa only)

We present at least partial information on the life history of three Eagris spp. , one Tagiades sp. , Netrobalane canopus , one Caprona sp and six Abantis spp. and summarise food plant information and references to other African species and genera. We have not located information on the early stages of Procampta rara Holland, Calleagris spp. , or Leucochitonea spp.

Most authors have assumed a close relationship among the genera now placed in Tagiadini and Celaenorrhini, based on adult characters. We will discuss this further when we report on the biology of Celaenorrhini (in prep.).

In their treatment of the butterflies of Negros Island, Philippines, Koçak & Seven (1997) recognised the tribe Tagiadini , and within it established the subtribes Coladeniina, Tagiadina and Odontoptilina, which they defined based on Evans’ (1949) Netrocoryne Subgroup , Tagiades group (presumably in error for the Tagiades subgroup) and Caprona Subgroup , with type species Coladenia , Tagiades , and Odontoptilum , respectively (the only three genera which they treat of these groups). Unfortunately, Koçak & Seven (1997) do not list the genera included or extrapolate the subtribes to the African genera, but Evans’ (1949) Caprona subgroup comprises Ctenoptilum , Odontoptilum and Caprona . Warren et al. (2009) do not recognise these subtribes and synonymise Coladeniina and Odontoptilina under Tagiadini . However, as discussed below, the status of Odontoptilina should be reconsidered.













Cock, Matthew J. W. & Congdon, T. Colin E. 2011


Aurivillius 1925


Holland 1892


Hopffer 1885

Eagris Guenée, 1863

Guenee 1863


Wallengren 1857


Wallengren 1857

Tagiades Hübner, 1819

Hubner 1819