Papilio (Menelaides) polytes Linnaeus, 1758

    polytes Linnaeus, 1758

Original Description

Papilio (Eques) polytes Linnaeus, 1758

Type specimen(s)

Status: Lectotype
Specimen data: LT (♀)
Additional information: "Type M.L.U." (Corbet, 1941: 13). "MLU: [...] 1 ♀ [of f. polytes Linnaeus] unlabelled, pinned upside-down, [drawer labelled] "Polytes [greek beta], Mus. Gust. Adolph." [by Thunberg], "Papilio Polytes f. Stichius Hübn., sec. Auriv." [by Aurivillius], "Uppsala Univ. Zool. Mus., Linnésamlingen nr. 1890, Papilio polytes", (treated by Wallin [1984: 32] as "polytes [greek beta] = f. stichius Hübner ♀", and attributed as such to Aurivillius [incorrectly]), on a small but strongly ridged pin, here designated as LECTOTYPE." (Honey & Scoble 2001: 370-371).
Current depository: UZIU, Uppsala

Type locality

Type locality as cited in original description: "Asia"
Current country: China

Taxonomic history

Originally described as Papilio (Eques) polytes Linnaeus, 1758
Treated as a synonym of Papilio pammon Linn. by Boisduval (1836: 272). Treated as a species in Papilio by Gray (1853: 20). Treated as a species of Papilio Linn., 1767 by Kirby (1871: 544). Treated as a species of Papilio Linnaeus, 1758 by Talbot (1939: 176), Munroe (1961: 43), and Eliot (1978: 422). Treated as a species of Papilio by Tsukada & Nishiyama (1982: 344). Treated as a species of Princeps Hübner, [1807] (Menelaides Hübner, [1819]) by Hancock (1983: 48). Treated as a species of Papilio (Princeps) by Collins & Morris (1985: 99). Treated as a species of Papilio Linnaeus, 1758 (Princeps Hübner, [1807]) by Eliot (1992: 395). Treated as a species of Papilio Linnaeus, 1758 (Menelaides Hübner, [1819]) by Vane-Wright & de Jong (2003: 88). Treated as a species of Menelaides Hübner, 1819 by Page & Treadaway (2003: 9).Treated as a species of Papilio Linnaeus, 1758 (Menelaides Hübner, 1819) by Peggie et al. (2005: 54).


Lectotype designated by Honey & Scoble (2001: 370-371). "Remarks. Described as an MLU species and figured by Clerck. There are two specimens in the MLU collection, both of which are listed by Thunberg (1804) and Wallin [1994]. Aurivillius (1882: 11) discussed the question of the identity of these two specimens. One matches the original description and is therefore of the typical form, the other is of f. stichius (Hübner) and is almost certainly the specimen figured by Clerck. Corbet (1949: 186) stated that the figure cited by Linnaeus in the original description ("Ehret. pict. t. 10") actually represents helenus, not polytes, and said that "one of these Uppsala butterflies should be regarded as the name type". Unfortunately, he also stated that "the same form, probably the same specimen, is figured in Clerck's Icones, pl. 14, fig. 1". This is clearly not the case as the specimen figured is of the form now known as stichius. This interpretation would explain Corbet's later treatment (1949: 197) when he treated the specimen figured by Clerck as one of the co-types (which it probably is, i.e., the form now known as stichius) with another co-type in the Linnaean [LSL] collection (which happens to be the true polytes). In order to retain stability, and in line with Linnaeus's original description, we have designated the "[greek beta]" specimen of polytes (f. polytes) in the MLU as lectotype. This is a polymorphic and sexually dimorphic species (see Tsukada, Nishiyama & Morishita in Tsukada, 1982b: 344; D'Abrera 1982: 72), the male being described by Linnaeus as pammon. The nominate subspecies is from the southern China mainland. Type species of the genus Menelaides Hübner [1819], currently considered to be a junior subjective synonym of Papilio Linnaeus, 1758. See pammon." (Honey & Scoble 2001: 370-371)