C. H. Curran

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American Museum Novitates


The American Museum of Natural History

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During study of the Erotylidae in the Museum collection it has become apparent that there are many undescribed species in the family, and that a goodly number of the described forms are only color phases of valid species. For the most part the erotylids are very attractive insects, and the colors and patterns are rather striking. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of variation in the color pattern, and two extremes in coloration of the same species would seem to indicate two distinct forms. However, when large series are available it becomes a simple matter to bring these extremes together through the natural variation in the color pattern, and it is then possible to see that, though the extremes vary greatly, they actually conform to the general pattern of the species. In addition to variation in the pattern, there is also great variation in the color. Species that have a reddish pattern when mature very often have it yellowish when newly emerged. This has resulted in the description of mature and teneral forms as distinct species. This contribution contains a review of the genus Oocyanus Hope and a new genus which I am calling Erotylina. It is most unfortunate that the long-established name Megalodacne Crotch must be replaced by Zonarius, while Zonariiis, as now used, must be replaced by Alloiotelus Hope. The illustrations have been prepared by Mrs. A. W. Froderstrom. They depict the typical form, but in a few cases extremes have been included.

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