Praepapilio gracilis,

Jong, Rienk De, 2017, Fossil butterflies, calibration points and the molecular clock (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea), Zootaxa 4270 (1), pp. 1-63: 29

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.583183

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scientific name

Praepapilio gracilis


gracilis  . Praepapilio gracilis Durden & Rose, 1978 

Papilionidae  .

USA, Colorado  , Ray Dome , Rio Blanco Co.; Lutetian, middle Eocene. 

Depositories : private collection Hugh Rose, New Hampshire, USA (holotype, 2a); BHM (counterpart holotype, 2b). 

Published figures: Durden & Rose (1978: Figs 2View FIGURE 2, 3View FIGURES 3 – 4 6C –D); Murata (1998: Fig. 3View FIGURES 3 – 4).

Similar to Praepapilio colorado  , but less well preserved, large parts of the wings (e.g., the important apical part of the forewing) missing. The forewing length is smaller, estimated as 32.6 mm of which the supposed precision is noted, although the apical part of the wing is missing. Moreover, it is of more slender built than P. colorado  . Possibly a female: the authors record a possible sphragis. Of the radial system of the forewing, only R1 and R2, and part of R3 visible. The area where R4 and possibly R5 should branch off, is missing. The terminal quarter or third of the hindwing is missing, such that the lobed shape depicted by Durden & Rose (1978) is speculative. For the rest of the wing, the venation is like P. colorado  . Apart from size and shape, the present fossil differs from P. colorado  in pattern, prompting Durden & Rose (1978) to describe it as a separate species.

Since the fossil is apparently closely related to Praepapilio colorado  , and is of the same age but less well preserved, it is not important for calibration.


Black Hills Museum of Natural History