Admirals – Vanessa or Bassaris?

  • Creator
  • #35698


    There is some confusion between the NZ Red Admiral and the Australasian Yellow Admiral regarding the generic name, some sources giving it as Vanessa and others as Bassaris.

    In 1971 W.D. Field, an entomologist from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington proposed that the “southern admirals” i.e. the NZ Red Admiral and the Australasian Yellow Admiral, be given a separate genus from the other world Admirals because of distinct genitalic and other differences, the system used for defining butterflies.

    Not all authorities accept the change, but the prevailing view today is that Vanessa is the accepted name.

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  • Author
  • #35734


    If Vanessa is preferred now by leading entomologists and lepodopterists such as George Gibbs and Brian Patrick, then I’ll be changing any reference to them on my webpages and facebook page to Vanessa. Always thought it was a prettier name than Bassaris anyway.

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