Content Author Object Flagger Flag Created Reason Resolved by Resolution
Common Grass Blue (Zizina labradus) jon_sullivan Fri, 08 Mar 2019 05:15:22 +0000

This and Zizina otis labradus are the same taxon but on iNat as two. One needs to merge into the other, but it's not immediately clear which one should be retained.


change comitted


Thanks @nhudson for the citation to the Gillespie et al. (2013) article in your comment. Yes, one of the two needs to merge into the other because they're the same taxon. But which one to use? That line in Gillespie et al. (2013) isn't a lot to go on:

Until recently, the most widely accepted classification of four Zizina species was that of Bridges (1988), but molecular work by Yagoet al. (2008) has reduced this number to three. However, as Yagoet al.(2008) did not fully address the hybridization issue, the classification used in this study is that of Bridges (1988).
Especially since George Gibbs is one of the authors on that paper, I'm tending to side with them until there's further work done. Do you agree? It might be worth reaching out to Robert Hoare for his opinion on this too.
Posted by jon_sullivan over 3 years ago (Flag)

Yes, I agree the line in Gillespie is not a lot to go on but favour it over treating Z. labradus as a subspecies of Z. otis. Despite advocating the use of Zizina labradus on the basis of this statement I am happy to be wrong if it is deemed insufficient. Figure 4 of Yago et al. (Zootaxa 1746: 15–38) is at the crux of the matter. This Bayesian Tree shows all the specimens of Z. labradus tested nested within those of Z. otis. I only have a vague understanding these sorts of figures, however, the two taxa are not muddled together but occupy separate sub-branches (3) and Z. oxley a very separate branch. Mike Braby's latest book on Australian butterflies might give a bit more weight to one of these alternatives but I do not have a copy. M.F. Braby (2016) The Complete Field Guide to the Butterflies of Australia 2nd Edition. It is supposed to contain all new and "reclassified" species. What do you think about this issue Robert? (@dr_robert)

Posted by nhudson over 3 years ago (Flag)

Ross Field (formerly of NMV) sent me a paper 2008 paper and accordingly he considers it should be the ssp. we should be using. ALA/AFD also currently accepts it as the ssp. Does NZ have a similar name authority?

I propose that until some future time (e.g. when hybridization occurs) we merge Zizina labradus into the Zizina otis labradus ssp. as we definitely should have two names for the same species. The draft taxo swap is here.

See also flag 467508, which I just resolved as its the same as this.

Posted by reiner 8 months ago (Flag)

I guess, if we are relying on published information, we are stuck with this decision, which I disagree with. However, I guess my opinion is irrelevant in the greater scheme. Perhaps you should track down and contact Mike Braby who is the relevant expert in Australiasian butterflies and seek his opinion. On external morphology, in particular hindwing pattern, Z. oxylei and Z. labradus are very similar while Z. otis (based on specimens I have from SE Asia) is quite a bit different. So, the DNA based results of Yago et al. seem anomalous.

Posted by nhudson 8 months ago (Flag)

I have committed the change to ssp - its can easily enough be reverted if someone publishes an update.

Posted by reiner 6 months ago (Flag)

Groan, yet another rubbish decision!

Posted by nhudson 6 months ago (Flag)

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