Fanessa pluto,

Jong, Rienk De, 2017, Fossil butterflies, calibration points and the molecular clock (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea), Zootaxa 4270 (1), pp. 1-63: 34-36

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.583183

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Fanessa pluto


pluto  . Vanessa pluto Heer, 1849 

Figs 11–13View FIGURES 11 – 13.

Pieridae  : Coliadinae  + Pierinae  .

Croatia, Radoboj, Croatia; Burdigalian, early Miocene.

Depository: NHMW (holotype, no. 1940/0001/0011).

Published figure: Murata (1998: Figs 27, 28); Pongrácz (1928: Fig. 30); Scudder (1875: Pl. II Figs 2View FIGURE 2, 7, 17).

This specimen consists of the greater part of both forewings and basal fragments of hindwings. Original description and figure copied in Scudder (1875: 44–50). Considered to belong to Nymphalidae  by Heer (and followed by some other authors, see discussion by Scudder) on the basis of a peculiar and highly unlikely venational arrangement: Sc arising from R halfway between base and apex, together with the common stalk of R1 and R2 (which forks shortly thereafter) and the common stalk of R3, R4 and R5, while M1 originates from the radial stem before this trichotomy; the cell is open. Such an arrangement is not found in any extant species.

Scudder’s interpretation is very different, with Sc from base as usual; the radial branching is not clearly visible, partly because the apex is broken, but it seems that M1 branches off an R-branch (formula R1, R2, (R3+M1)). This arrangement, with M1 branching off an R-branch, is found in a number of genera belonging to Coliadinae  and Pierinae  (see phylogeny by Wahlberg et al. 2014), and Scudder apparently was correct in considering the fossil attributable to the Pieridae  . He placed it in his genus Mylothrites  (followed by Kozlov 1988) and compared it to the recent genera Mylothris  (Africa) and Hebomoia  (Southeastern Asia) ( Pieridae  : Pierinae  ), both which have only three radial veins. Three radial veins are also found in the American genus Nathalis  ( Pieridae  : Coliadinae  ), so we cannot identify the fossil more precisely than belonging to Coliadinae  + Pierinae  . Pongrácz (1928) re-examined the type and concluded that it was close to the satyrine genus Satyrus  ( Nymphalidae  ). However, in view of the state of preservation of the fossil of which a photograph of the holotype has been published by Ponomarenko & Schultz 1988: Pl. 7 Fig. 2View FIGURE 2, Pongrácz’s reconstruction (his Fig. 30) must have been erroneous. Without providing reasons, Handlirsch (1908) mentioned the fossil under “ Papilionidae  ”, Handlirsch (1925) under “ Papilioninae  ”, and Zeuner (1942) under " Nymphalinae  ".