From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Tanaecia iapis 060406 stgd.jpg
Tanaecia iapis (Adoliadini)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Limenitidinae
Behr, 1864
Euphaedra xypete (Adoliadini)
Hamanumida daedalus (Adoliadini)
Tanaecia lepidea - grey count from (Adoliadini)
Adelpha syma of the Limenitidini is sometimes placed in Limenitis

The Limenitidinae are a subfamily of butterflies that includes the admirals and relatives. The common names of many species and genera reference military ranks or – namely the Adoliadinititles of nobility (e.g., count, duke, earl, and marquis), in reference to these butterflies' large size, bold patterns, and dashing flight. In particular, the light stripe running lengthwise across the wings of many Limenitidini has reminded earlier authors of officers' (e.g. admiral, commander, commodore) shoulder marks and epaulets.

In flight, many of these butterflies have the habit of flapping their wings, so the (usually) bright upperside and the cryptic underside alternate for the observer, then gliding for prolonged distances, with the motionless wings held outstretched. The common names of some Limenitidinae – "aeroplanes", "clippers", or "gliders" – refer to this flight pattern.


The Biblidinae are sometimes merged here. The present subfamily is also sometimes included as a tribe Limenitidini in the Nymphalinae. But in fact, their closest living relatives seem to be the Heliconiinae.[1]

The Limenitidinae are traditionally divided into four tribes, of which the Parthenini are the most basal lineage and the others form a close-knit and more apomorphic radiation. While this basic layout is likely to be fairly correct, a few genera cannot be easily assigned to the three "modern" tribes and seem to be somewhat intermediate. In particular, the delimitation of the Limenitidini versus the Neptini is in need of more study.[2]

Genera and selected species[edit]

The genera of Limenitidinae, sorted per tribe in the presumed phylogenetic sequence and with some species also listed, are:[2]

Tribe Parthenini Reuter, 1896

Tribe Adoliadini Doubleday, 1845

Tribe Limenitidini Behr, 1864

Tribe Neptini Newman, 1870

Pseuodoneptis coenobita is sometimes placed in the Limenitidini. It resembles Neptis species, but probably due to mimicry rather than parallel evolution

Incertae sedis


  1. ^ Wahlberg & Brower (2007a,b)
  2. ^ a b Wahlberg & Brower (2007a), and see references in Savela (2008)


  • Savela, Markku (2008): Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms – Limenitidinae. Version of 31 August 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
  • Wahlberg, Niklas & Brower, Andrew V.Z. (2007a): Tree of Life Web Project – Limenitidinae. Version of 15 January 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2009.
  • Wahlberg, Niklas & Brower, Andrew V.Z. (2007b): Tree of Life Web Project – Nymphalidae. Version of 19 February 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2009.

External links[edit]