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Aphnaeinae Distant 1884

Andrew V. Z. Brower
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Containing group: Lycaenidae


The list of included genera is based on Eliot (1973) with updates from Ackery et al. (1995). Eliot placed all genera in the Aphnaeus section except for Pseudaletis. The majority of species in this group are African, although some members of Apharitis and Spindasis extend to the Oriental region.


Eliot (1973) placed this taxon as a subordinate group within his Theclinae. In Corbet et al. (1992), he reduced Theclinae, Polyommatinae and Lycaeninae to tribes, and elevated Aphnaeini to a distinct tribe outside of Theclini within a more inclusive Lycaeninae, based on differences in larval morphology relative to the other lycaenine "tribes." According to R. K. Robbins (pers. comm.), Eliot's reduction in rank of these clades has not been accepted by most lycaenid researchers, because it limits the potential to further subdivide some of the extremely diverse contained clades, such as Eumaeini. Therefore, these four taxa are here ranked as subfamilies.


Ackery, P. R., Smith, C. R. & Vane-Wright, R. I. (ed.) 1995 Carcasson's African butterflies. Canberra: CSIRO.

Corbet, A. S., Pendlebury, H. M. & Eliot, J. N. 1992 The butterflies of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Nature Society.

Eliot JN. 1973. The higher classification of the Lycaenidae (Lepidoptera): a tentative arrangement. Bull. Br. Mus. Nat. Hist. (Ent.) 28: 371-505, 6 pls.

Heath, A. 1997 A review of African genera of the tribe Aphnaeini (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) Metamorphosis Suppl. 2: 1-60

Title Illustrations
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Scientific Name Spindasis syama
Location Taiwan
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Source 三星雙尾燕蝶 Spindasis syama ( Horsfield, 1829)
Source Collection Flickr
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License - Version 2.0.
Copyright © 2007 Angela and Andrew
About This Page

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Andrew V. Z. Brower at

Page: Tree of Life Aphnaeinae Distant 1884. Authored by Andrew V. Z. Brower. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.

Citing this page:

Brower, Andrew V. Z. 2008. Aphnaeinae Distant 1884. Version 24 April 2008 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Aphnaeinae/106369/2008.04.24 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

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