Niklas Wahlberg

The subfamily Cyrestinae has usually been placed within the Limenitidinae. Molecular work is showing that Cyrestinae deserves the rank of subfamily and that it is more related to Nymphalinae/Apaturinae/Biblidinae/Pseudergolinae than to Limenitidinae. Phylogenetic relationships of the genera appear to be clear, with Marpesia being sister to Cyrestis+Chersonesia, based on analyses in Wahlberg et al. (2005, 2009). Relationships of species within genera have not been studied using modern techniques, although Holloway (1973) used phenetic methods to build a phenetic tree for Cyrestis and Chersonesia. The subfamily comprises 46 species placed in 3 genera (according to the latest version of the Classification of Nymphalidae).

Checklist of species in Cyrestinae


Key publications for Cyrestinae systematics:

  1. Holloway, J. D. 1973: The affinities within four butterfly groups (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) in relation to general patterns of butterfly distribution in the Indo-Australian area. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 125: 125-176.
  2. Wahlberg, N., Brower, A. V. Z. & Nylin, S. 2005: Phylogenetic relationships and historical biogeography of tribes and genera in the subfamily Nymphalinae (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 86:227-251. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2005.00531.x
  3. Wahlberg, N., Leneveu, J., Kodandaramaiah, U., Peña, C., Nylin, S., Freitas, A. V. L. & Brower, A. V. Z. 2009: Nymphalid butterflies diversify following near demise at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B Biological Sciences 276: 4295-4302. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.1303