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1894DtEnt Z. IrisPlate1Plate2.jpg
Madeleinea moza Fig. 5
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Polyommatinae
Genus: Madeleinea
Bálint, 1993

Several, see text


Itylos Nabokov, 1945 (non Draudt, 1921: preoccupied)
Nivalis Balletto, 1993

Madeleinea is a butterfly genus in the family Lycaenidae. These Andean butterflies are very interesting from a taxonomic standpoint.

For one thing, this genus was discussed by famous author and lepidopterologist Vladimir Nabokov in 1945. However, he used the name Itylos, which actually refers to a closely related but distinct genus described in 1921. That was not known in his time however, as the relationships of the butterflies discussed by Nabokov were only resolved in 1993. In any case, Nivalis was proposed as a replacement name by Emilio Balletto but for technical reasons[verification needed] turned out to be unavailable. Zsolt Bálint subsequently established the currently-valid name.

The latter researcher, in cooperation with Kurt Johnson, since then described many taxa new to science. To honor the contributions of Nabokov to entomology - chiefly concerning Lycaenidae -, these were often given names referring to the novels of Nabokov, or characters therein.

Selected species[edit]

At least one but probably more undescribed species are known to exist.


  • Nabokov, Vladimir (1945): Notes on neotropical Plebejinae (Lycaenidae, Lepidoptera). Psyche 52: 1–61. PDF fulltext
  • Zimmer, Dieter E. (1996): A Guide to Nabokov’s Butterflies and Moths. Hamburg, Germany

External links[edit]