macho de Nahida coenoides coenoides que vimos del valle del río Pastaza hasta Sucúa


macho de la forma de Ithomeis aurantiaca que vuela de Tena al río Pastaza


the taxonomy of the Genus Nahida was anything but clear :
-       three sp or ssp, that fly together, at least in the Southern half of Sangay NP, more particularly between 900 and 1300 meters,
-       one of these sp or ssp, ecuadorica, which seems to be very poorly known and looks much more like Ithomeis aurantiaca than like any Nahida ; are there other specimens besides the type ?
-       trochois which would be variable, the Southern specimens being different from those from the North,
-       and, on top of that, two probably undescribed phenotypes, not illustrated on butterfliesofamerica, but not variable within their range, one North of Macas, hence sympatric with the other three sp/ssp, the other one in Napo and Sucumbios (see the set of pictures on new facts page).

as for Genus Ithomeis, it is not much better East of the Andes - but it is a butterfly that we do not know well as it seems to be quite uncommon in Ecuador :
-       ten ssp, mostly in Brasil,
-       and seven specimens, either collected or photographed by Andrew Neild and David Geale in a small area from the South of Tena down to Huamboya just South of rio Pastaza, all the same, but different from any phenotype figured on butterfliesofamerica even though they look like mimica, but with much less black and wider hyaline areas (see pictures on new facts page).

and today (2021), after a very large series of genomic analyses, the authors of "Genomics-guided refinement of butterfly taxonomy" revise the status of our three Nahida "species" and make them ssp of Ithomeis aurantiaca.

DNA has spoken, definitely, but we would think that a lot of fieldwork would be necessary to allow for making such decisions, particularly with all these instances of sympatry involved ; existence of other phenotypes, geographic distribution of the various forms, geographic overlaps, presence or not of intermediate forms ?  and of course the basics : food plants, early stages, behavior etc., and, in the lab, genitalia.

left : Sangay NP specimen, right : type of Ithomeis aurantiaca mimica on butterfliesofamerica

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