Jong, Rienk De, 2017, Fossil butterflies, calibration points and the molecular clock (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea), Zootaxa 4270 (1), pp. 1-63: 39-40

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.583183

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by


scientific name



spec. Theope 

Riodinidae  : Riodininae  : Nymphidiini  .

Dominican Republic: Cordillera Septentrional between Santiago and Puerto Plata; Dominican amber, Burdigalian, early Miocene. 

Depository: AIOSU (one specimen).

Published figure: DeVries & Poinar (1997: Fig. 1View FIGURE 1).

DeVries & Poinar (1997) described a fossil caterpillar that differs little from modern-day Theope  ( Riodinidae  ). They pointed out that the combined presence of tentacle nectary organs, vibratory papillae, and balloon setae which seem to be present, are found only on riodinid caterpillars in the tribe Nymphidiini  , and nowhere else among the Lepidoptera  ( Cottrell 1984; Harvey 1987; DeVries 1997). In the extensive molecular phylogenetic analysis by Espeland et al. (2015), the genus was assigned to the tribe Nymphidiini  , and they placed the calibration point of 15–20 Ma on the stem of Theope virgilius (Fabricius)  and T. philotes (Westwood)  , apparently on the basis of overall similarity of the larva. There are, however, no synapomorphies known for the larvae of Theope  and a more conservative calibration point would be at the base of Nymphidiini  .