Under Construction

Libythea Fabricius 1807

Akito Y. Kawahara, Niklas Wahlberg, and Andrew V. Z. Brower
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
taxon links [up-->]Libythea collenettei [up-->]Libythea celtis [up-->]Libythea cinyras [up-->]Libythea myrrha [up-->]Libythea narina [up-->]Libythea geoffroy [up-->]Libythea labdaca [up-->]Libythea laius [up-->]Libythea lepita Phylogenetic position of group is uncertainPhylogenetic position of group is uncertain[down<--]Libytheinae Interpreting the tree
close box

This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.

The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.

example of a tree diagram

You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.

For more information on ToL tree formatting, please see Interpreting the Tree or Classification. To learn more about phylogenetic trees, please visit our Phylogenetic Biology pages.

close box
Containing group: Libytheinae


The genus Libythea includes nine extant species and two fossils. Adults typically land at damp spots on the ground, and visit flowers in low elevation mountains. The male typically is territorial, and both sexes cryptically rest on branches. Most species are found in forests and disturbed habitats, and usually have one or two annual generations. The egg is generally laid on buds of Celtis (Celtidaceae), and in nearly all cases, the larva feeds on leaves of this plant genus.

At least one non-fossil species is presumed extinct: Libythea cinyras Trimen, known only from the holotype specimen collected on Mauritius in 1866. The specimen is in poor condition, as it lacks a head and abdomen, and is stored in the type collection at the Natural History Museum in London. The life histories of L. collenettei Poulton & Riley (Marquesas Islands) and L. narina Godart (Southeast Asia) also remain unknown. For further information on the natural history of Libythea, refer to Kawahara (2006).


Species of Libythea share at least seven characteristics that can be used to distinguish them from Libytheana (Kawahara, in press):

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

Phylogenetic relationships of Libythea species still remain somewhat tentative. Morphological data strongly support the relationships of the following groups: (Libythea celtis , Libythea lepita)(Libythea geoffroyi , Libythea narina)(Libythea labdaca , Libythea laius), but the placement of Libythea cinyras, Libythea collenettei, Libythea myrrha, and the two fossil taxa remain uncertain.

Other Names for Libythea Fabricius 1807


Kawahara, A. Y. 2006. Biology of the snout butterflies (Nymphalidae: Libytheinae), Part 1: Libythea Fabricius. Transactions of the Lepidopterological Society of Japan 57(1): 13-33.

Kawahara, A. Y. (accepted). Revision of the Extant and Fossil Snout Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Libytheinae). Thomas Say Publications in Entomology, Monographs. Lanham, Maryland.

Title Illustrations
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Scientific Name Libythea celtis
Location Barcelona, Spain
Specimen Condition Dead Specimen
Identified By Niklas Wahlberg
Life Cycle Stage Adult
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © Niklas Wahlberg
Scientific Name Libythea labdaca
Location Luki, near Boma, Democratic Republic of Congo
Specimen Condition Live Specimen
Identified By Akito Y. Kawahara
Behavior Resting on ground
Sex Male
Life Cycle Stage Adult
Body Part Entire
View Lateral
Collection Akito Y. Kawahara
Collector Akito Y. Kawahara
Image Use creative commons This media file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0.
Copyright © Akito Y. Kawahara
About This Page

Akito Y. Kawahara
University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Niklas Wahlberg
University of Turku, Finland

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Akito Y. Kawahara at , Niklas Wahlberg at , and Andrew V. Z. Brower at

All Rights Reserved.

Citing this page:

Kawahara, Akito Y., Niklas Wahlberg, and Andrew V. Z. Brower. 2009. Libythea Fabricius 1807. Version 18 May 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Libythea/12184/2009.05.18 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/

edit this page
close box

This page is a Tree of Life Branch Page.

Each ToL branch page provides a synopsis of the characteristics of a group of organisms representing a branch of the Tree of Life. The major distinction between a branch and a leaf of the Tree of Life is that each branch can be further subdivided into descendent branches, that is, subgroups representing distinct genetic lineages.

For a more detailed explanation of the different ToL page types, have a look at the Structure of the Tree of Life page.

close box


Page Content

articles & notes



Explore Other Groups

random page

  go to the Tree of Life home page