Hesperiinae, Latreille, 1809

Collins, Steve C., 2017, Observations on the biology of Afrotropical Hesperiidae (Lepidoptera). Part 12. New information and corrections, Zootaxa 4312 (3), pp. 471-496 : 488

publication ID


publication LSID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name



Hesperiinae , Baorini

Fan et al. (2016) used multiple gene sequences to clarify the phylogeny of Baorini , which they confirmed to be monophyletic. Based on eight species of Borbo Evans, 1949 included in their analysis, they found Borbo to be polyphyletic and accordingly validated the genus Pseudoborbo Lee for the Asian P. bevani (Moore) and attempted to establish a new genus, Larsenia Chiba, Fan & Sáfián to accommodate B. gemella (Mabille) , B. perobscura (Druce) and B. holtzi (Plötz) . Unfortunately, Larsenia is an invalid homonym as the name is preoccupied by Larsenia Warén , a genus of marine gastropod molluscs, so the Baorini genus will need to be renamed. Further work will also be needed to allocate the remaining species of Borbo to their correct genera. Of the three Borbo species that we reared ( Cock & Congdon 2012), B. borbonica (Boisduval) and B. fatuellus (Hopffer) remain in the genus Borbo , but B. lugens (Hopffer) was not treated by Fan et al. (2016). Based on the caterpillars, we consider B. fatuellus and B. lugens to be closely related, but the caterpillar of B. borbonica (the type species of Borbo ) is more similar to that of Afrogegenes letterstedti (Wallengren) (= niso Linnaeus auct.). De Jong & Coutsis (2017) described Afrogegenes for three species previously placed in Gegenes : A. letterstedti , A. hottentota (Latreille) and A. ocra (Evans) . Although Fan et al. (2016) include G. nostrodamas (Fabricius) in their analysis, unfortunately they do not include any Afrogegenes spp. Based on the caterpillars, Afrogegenes may be closer to Borbo than to Gegenes . More rearing and more genetic analysis will be needed to take this further.

Cock & Congdon (2012) overlooked the observation by Sevastopulo (1964) that B. borbonica can be attracted to light by night. In our experience, crepuscular species may be attracted to light at dusk or dawn. In addition, many species of Hesperiidae (and other butterfly families) are rarely attracted to lights by night, but we attribute this to individuals being disturbed and taking flight at night rather than true nocturnal behaviour.