Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Hermeuptychia hermybius Grishin 2014. Type locality: east of Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas
Previously usually identified with:
Hermeuptychia hermes (Fabricius) Forbes 1964; Orig. Comb: Papilio hermes Fabricius 1775. Type locality: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Euptychia hermes (Fabricius)
Explanation of Names
Previously included in H. hermes, a South American species not found in the United States. North American members of the Hermeuptychia sosybius - hermes complex have been treated differently through time and by different authors. Some have treated all of them as a single species - either H. hermes or H. sosybius, while others have considered two species to occur together in the same areas in North America. Some treatments have "H. hermes" (now hermybius) entering only southernmost Texas and replaced northeastward by H. sosybius (including the treatment at the Butterflies of America web site that is followed here).
Further study may result in still different treatments in the future.
According to the code for botanical nomenclature, and the requirement for gender agreement, it might appear that the name should be emmended to "Hermeuptychia hermybia". Upon initial reading, the name "hermybius" would appear to be an adjective, which would not exempt it from this requirement. However, the name is stated to be a "noun in opposition" by the authors, which would indeed exempt it.
Distinction from H. sosybius
is difficult, and as recognized here is based primarily upon geography. However, H. sosybius
usually has the dark eye spots of the lower side larger, and the dark lines to either side of them less irregular. In H. hermybius
the line to the outside of the eyespots tends to be more "zig-zag" and the one to the inside on the hind wing distinctly irregularly curved; the eye spot themselves tend to be more even in size, with the dark ones often not much, if any larger than the lighter ones.
Genitalia are very similar, with the main distinction being a proportionately longer aedeagus (= penis, including "phallobase") in male H. hermybius.
More information is needed from the region in which the two taxa H. hermybius and H. sosybius may meet in Texas. If the two occur together without blending, it would be good evidence that they are indeed distinct biological species. However, if they blend / intergrade, one into the other, that would imply that they are geographic subspecies of a single biological species.