Pyrameis fossilis,

Jong, Rienk De, 2017, Fossil butterflies, calibration points and the molecular clock (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea), Zootaxa 4270 (1), pp. 1-63: 27

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.583183

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Pyrameis fossilis


fossilis  . Pyrameis fossilis Nekrutenko, 1965 

Nymphalidae  : Nymphalinae  .

Russia, Kraj Stavropol, Stavropol, N. Caucasus; late Miocene. 

Depository: PIRAS (holotype, PIN 254/2753).

Published figures: Nekrutenko (1965: Fig. 4View FIGURES 3 – 4).

Fragment of hindwing only. Judging from Nekrutenko’s figure (1965: Fig 4View FIGURES 3 – 4) the cell is open, an apomorphy found (but not exclusively) in many Nymphalinae  . However, the author considered the fossil congeneric with Vanessa atalanta (Linnaeus)  , Cynthia cardui (Linnaeus)  (considered to belong to the genus Vanessa  now), etc. ( Nymphalinae  ), where the cell is closed, though the cross vein may be weak. Because of some proportional similarities, he suggested a close relationship with C. cardui  , although he admitted that the material is not complete enough for a reliable identification. He described the fossil under the “nomen conditionalis”, Pyrameis fossilis  , a term not recognized by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. I found different venational proportions in the species from those mentioned by Nekrutenko. The proportions may be variable and not a reliable guide for relationship. The venational arrangement as far as visible in the fossil is found in many extant nymphalines and it is of little help in establishing closer relationships. In view of the deficient useful characters in the fossil I wonder why Kozlov (1988) synonimized it with Vanessa amerindica Miller & Brown  (see comments above).