pictures courtesy of K R Willmott


the taxonomic history of Hypoleria alema is one of many changes : Ithomia or Hypoleria, species, subspecies, forms ; our idea is not to revisit the whole process, but only, to get a clearer picture, to emphasize an important twist, it became common practice - particularly in d'Abrera 1984 - to call specimens with orange markings on the HW "form macasana" when "Ithomia macasana", described by Strand in 1916, has no orange at all, and, as a matter of fact looks almost exactly like "Hypoleria alema negrina" described two years later.

hence, at this time we believe we have, in Ecuador:
      - Hypoleria alema ina típica - with orange on the HW, maybe scarce, present in the SE, at least between Loja and Zamora
      - Hypoleria alema ina f. macasana - with no orange on the HW, present at least from Morona Santiago to Zamora, not common, and we "forget"  negrina
      - Hypoleria alema pastaza, recently described - with an orange marking and a yellowish wash on the HW, present in an area limited by Archidona-Puyo-the upper Pastaza valley
      - Hypoleria alema karschi - that we found between Tena, Archidona and Misahualli and which looks completely different with its yellow FW apex.
years ago we wrote "karschi is not visibly different from chrysodonia which flies farther East in the Amazon basin, they could be the same subspecies ?", today they've been synonimised and the name chrysodonia prevailed.

we do not feel comfortable with the assumption that chrysodonia would be a ssp of alema as, near Archidona, both ssp, chrysodonia and pastaza, are sympatric ; and, looking carefully at chrysodonia, one sees five strong features that are never present on the other alema : a-the wings general shape, b-the yellow FW apex, c-the yellow rim on the HWUN, d-the black color of the HW veins, e-the shape of space Cu2-Cu1 (FW) ; we would be surprised if they would not prove to be a distinct species eventually.  see

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