I. Grouping of European species of the genus Astata Latr.
It is not my intention to anticipate in this paper a subgeneric division of the genus Astata 1). For the purpose of such division, it would be necessary to investigate more non-European material than at present is at my disposal.
But at first view it seems to me that the European species may be divided into four distinct groups, which may be separated with the key given below.
Two of the proposed groups (the stigma-group and the tricolor-group) form part of the subgenus Dryudella Spinola, as this subgenus has generally been understood; nevertheless, the differences between these two groups, namely in the shape of the clypeus and, in the females, in the habitus, seem to justify separating them; although, investigation of allied non-European species might make it necessary to adapt or to modify the key to the groups.
Eventually, the possibility that non-European intermediate forms will make the separations untenable cannot be absolutely excluded. A decision about the taxonomic rank of the proposed groups, therefore, must be postponed.
Spinola (1843, P- 135), erecting the genus or subgenus Dryudella ("une nouvelle coupe, qu'on appellera genre ou sous-genre, selon les principes qu'on aura adoptes dans la nomenclature binominale"), based the "nouvelle coupe" on the wing venation of "Dimorpha cincta Perris" and separated it from "Dimorpha" 1) "par la troisieme cubitale, lunulee comme dans les "Lyrops" 2) et par la premiere nervure recurrente, qui s'anastomose avec la nervure transversale qui separe la premiere de la seconde cubitale". However, in these critical features, Spinola was incorrect in several respects. Even excluding stigma and its near allies from Dryudella (Spinola himself never
National Museum of Natural History, Netherlands
Article / Letter to the editor