Riodinella nympha,

Jong, Rienk De, 2017, Fossil butterflies, calibration points and the molecular clock (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea), Zootaxa 4270 (1), pp. 1-63: 33

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.583183

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name

Riodinella nympha


nympha  . Riodinella nympha Durden & Rose, 1978 

Incertae sedis.

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

Depositories: PLME (holotype, no. 3a), BHM (counterpart, no. 3b).

Published figures: Durden & Rose (1978: Figs 4View FIGURES 3 – 4, 5View FIGURE 5, 6E –F); Murata (1998: Figs 4View FIGURES 3 – 4, 5View FIGURE 5).

Described as belonging to Lycaenidae  (at the time including Riodinidae  ) and compared, among others, to the extant genus Riodina  . In addition to photos of the holotype, a reconstruction of the wing venation and an extensive description is given. In the reconstruction of the hindwing a long tail at the end of M3 and CuA1 has been reproduced, or rather produced, since it is not present in the fossil. Hall et al. (2004) extensively explain that in wing venation there is nothing to link the fossil exclusively to the Riodinidae  ; several of the venational characters also are found in Papilionidae  , Pieridae  and Nymphalidae  . Hall et al. (2004) conclude that it should be treated as an unplaced butterfly, with which I can fully agree.

According to the original description “the male genitalia are definitely comparable to modern members of this subtribe”, but the genitalia are not described except for a structure "in the anterior third of the capsule". This structure is interpreted as representing a Y-shaped furca, an interpretation that is considered unreliable. Apparently the specimen is supposed to be a male, but under “Characters agreeing with the family” [ Lycaenidae  ] is listed “Prothoracic femur 0.6 of mesothoracic femur in female” ( Durden & Rose 1978)


Black Hills Museum of Natural History