The giant butterfly-moths (Castniidae: Castniinae) are distributed in the Neotropics from Mexico, throughout Central America, down to South America reaching Argentina and Chile. Among the highly diverse genera, Haemonides Hübner is particularly striking due to the white or cream ground colour of their wings outlined with black margins which give it a vague resemblance to some species of Pieridae. Several species and subspecies have been described but research studies and information on the genus are scarce and in some cases confusing. In this work, the genus Haemonides, restricted to South America, is revised and the diagnostic phenotypic characteristics of males and females, as well as male genitalia are illustrated. Details on its history, biogeography and biology are included with the purpose of solving the confusion in identifying the species of the genus. A neotype is designated for Papilio cronis Cramer and a lectotype for Castnia croni-da Herrich-Schäffer. A new subspecies H. cronis vinciguerrrai ssp. nov. is described. Other taxa are revised and their tax-onomic and nomenclatural status clarified.
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We are indebted to the staff at various museums who over the years have provided access to collections or details and/or photographs of specimens under their care: Jerôme Barbut (MNHNP), Marcelo Duarte & Renato de Oliveira (MZUSP), Francisco Fernández Yépez (†) (MIZA, Maracay, Venezuela), Alessandro Giusti, Geoff Martin and Alberto Zilli (BMNH), David Grimaldi (AMNH, New York, USA), Bert Guftaffson (NRM, Stockholm, Sweden), Donald Harvey (USNM), John Heppner (MCLB), Ole Karsholt (ZMC, Denmark), Tim McCabe (NYSM), Wolfram Mey (MNHU), Jacqueline Y. Miller (MCLB), Bill Overal (MPEG), Hossein Rajaei (SMNS), Julián A. Salazar (MHN, Universidad de Caldas, Manizales, Colombia), Sergio Vargas (MPUJ, Bogotá, Colombia), Rob de Vos (RMNH, Leiden, Netherlands), Robert Zuparko (CAS, San Francisco). Also, Harriet Campbell Longley (BMNH library) for providing access to the original Cramer plates. We would also like to thank the following people for providing access, data and/or photographs of specimens from their personal collections: Michael Büche (MB), Dirk Casteleyn (DC), Matthew J. W. Cock (MJWC), Marilou Gadou (†) (Venezuela), Otelo Mattei G. (†) and sons Renato and Roberto (CRM), Greg Nielsen (Colombia), Andrés Orellana (CAO), Thierry Porion (France), Basilio Rodríguez (†) (Venezuela), Gabriel Rodríguez (Colombia), Francisco Romero A. (†), Francisco Romero M. and family (CFR), Edwin Saino (†) (Venezuela), Francisco de la Villa (DLV), and Roberto Vinciguerra (†) (RVC). Thanks are also due to Jim Pateman (UK) and Alberto Zilli (UK) for helping with genitalia preparations. We would like to thank François Bondil (France), Luigi Racheli (Italy) and Tony Reátegui (Peru) for supplying specimens and/or useful information. Thanks to Matthew J. W. Cock for his wise suggestions and comments. Finally, our thanks to the editor Livia Pinheiro, Simeao Souza Moraes and an anonymous reviewer who provided comments that allowed us to improve further the submitted manuscript. JMG was partially supported by the Fresno State Provost’s Assigned Time for Research (Summers 2015 & 2016) and JCAST Research Professional Development Program (2016–2017).
- Giant butterfly-moths