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We review the genus Elymnias Hübner, 1818, a morphologically diverse satyrine butterfly clade involved in multifarious Batesian mimicry relationships throughout Asia and Africa. A variety of different model species are mimicked, and many Elymnias species are sexually dimorphic mimics, with males and females resembling different model species. We revise species and subspecies delimitations in light of an integrative taxonomic investigation using external morphology, male and female genital morphology, and a multilocus molecular phylogeny. There is little interspecific genitalic variation among species in this group, and previous taxonomists therefore relied almost entirely on wing patterns. Our molecular phylogenetic analysis reveals several examples of polymorphism or wing pattern divergence within a single species currently classified as two or more different species. We also found examples of wing pattern convergence among disparate lineages that mimic the same widespread model species. Frequently, two or more phenotypically similar species were classified as a single species. This comprehensive checklist reviews all names associated with Elymnias to align its taxonomy with the evolutionary history of the group. All available information on nomenclature, type localities, repositories of type specimens, and geographical distributions is summarized, and images of adult specimens and genitalia are provided along with distribution maps of all species and selected subspecies. We identify 2 species incertae sedis, establish 15 monophyletic species groups (including 1 species unplaced in any species group), and make 49 taxonomic changes, including 35 new synonyms, 7 new combinations (2 of which have new status), 1 resurrected combination, 1 resurrected subspecies, and 7 status changes.


This article was originally published in ZooKeys, available at doi: 10.3897/zookeys.676.12579.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).

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