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Urbanus belli (Hayward, 1935)
(Bell's Longtail)

Type Specimens
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Pinned Specimens
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Pinned Specimens
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Live Adults
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Immatures photo collection
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Immatures photo collection
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Genitalia photo collection:

Distribution and Larval Foodplants:

W Mexico & S Texas (as stray) to Argentina


(From: A Catalogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada, Jonathan P. Pelham)

Genus Urbanus Hübner, [1807]

Samml. exot. Schmett. 1: pls. [150], [151], [155], [159]. Type-species: Papilio proteus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat. (ed. 10) 1: 484, no. 163 (as figured by Hübner [1807], Samml. exot. Schmett. 1: pl. [155]), by designation of Hemming (1933), Entomol. 66(844): 200. Steinhauser (1981), Bull. Allyn Mus. (62): 1-43, revised the proteus group, and (1987), Bull. Allyn Mus. (111): 1-16, detailed species-group names in this genus.

      =    ‡Thymele [Illiger], 1807

Allg. Lit.-Zeit. 2(303): 1180. Type-species: Papilio proteus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat. (ed. 10) 1: 484, no. 163, designated by Bridges (1985), Notes on Family- and Genus-group names (IV): 123. Suppressed by I.C.Z.N. Opinion 232, and placed on the Official Index of Rejected and Invalid Generic Names in Zoology as name no. 48; it is also a junior objective synonym of Urbanus Hübner, [1807].

      =    ‡Goniurus Hübner, [1819]

Verz. bekannt. Schmett. (7): 104. Type-species: Papilio proteus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat. (ed. 10) 1: 484, no. 163, by designation of Westwood (1852), in: Gen. diurn. Lepid. 2(54): 510. A junior objective synonym of Urbanus Hübner, [1807].

      =    ‡Eudamus Swainson, 1831

Zool. Illustr. (2)2(11): pl. 48, unnumbered text. Type-species: Papilio proteus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat. (ed. 10) 1: 484, no. 163, by original designation. A junior objective synonym of Urbanus Hübner, [1807].

‡”Lyroptera” Plötz, 1881

Stettiner Entomol. Ztg. 42(10-12): 500. This name was introduced by Plötz (citing Hopffer) in the synonymy of Eudamus Swainson, 1831. Hemming (1967), Bull. Brit. Mus. (Nat. Hist.) Entomol. Suppl. 9: 271, stated that the type-species is Papilio proteus Linnaeus, 1758, by monotypy; L. Miller and F. Brown (1981), Mem. Lepid. Soc. (2): 7, duplicated this citation. This is incorrect because “Lyroptera” Plötz is a nomen nudum and not available.


Urbanus belli (Hayward, 1935)

An. Soc. Cient. Argent. 119(6): 256; figured by Hayward (1964), Gen. Spec. Anim. Argent. 1: pl. 15, fig. 12 ♂ V.

Original Combination: Goniurus belli

Type Locality: “Salta” [Argentina]

Types: Holotype in MLPA (Breyer collection).

Recorded from Texas by A. Warren (1997), News Lepid. Soc. 39(3): 41, figs. F-J.

            =    alva Evans, 1952

Cat. Am. Hesp. Brit. Mus. (2): 87.

Original Combination: [Urbanus viterboana] alva

Type Locality: “Mexico, Atoyac, Veracruz”

Types: Holotype in BMNH; figured by Steinhauser (1981), Bull. Allyn Mus. (62): fig. 14 ♂ D&V.


Text from:

Steinhauser, Stephen Rogers 1981. A revision of the proteus group of the genus Urbanus Hübner. Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae. Bulletin of the Allyn Museum 62: 1-41, 61 figs. (4 September).

p. 17-19, f. 13, 14, 35, 50

Urbanus belli (Hayward), 1935, new combination

Figures 13, 14 (♂), 35 (♂ genitalia), 50 (♀ genitalia)

Goniurus belli Hayward, 1935: 256. Type locality Argentina: Salta, type probably in  
 Museo de Buenos Aires.
= Urbanus viterboana alva Evans, 1952: 87. Type locality Mexico: Veracruz: Atoyac,  
 type in BMNH.

The ♂ forewing has a costal fold. In both sexes the forewing bears the usual  
complement of hyaline spots; the subapical spots in M1-M2 and M2-M3 are usually  
absent although more likely to occur in M2-M3 alone than in both. The upper surface  
basal hair scale clothing is green, occasionally with a blue tint and is sharply defined  
distally on the hindwing. The underside ground color is usually a medium brown, with  
or without a purple tint, but a few individuals have a purple gray ground color as is  
common in viterboana. The under hindwing central band is entire and usually widened  
or bifurcate at the costal end, but rarely may be of constant width. Occasionally the  
distal subcostal spot is separated from the band and rarely the proximal spot as well.  
The pale distal edging to the cell spot is very faint. The postdiscal band is entire; the  
pale distal edging to the subtornal spot faint. The forewing fringe is only slightly paler  
than the ground color, and faintly checkered, usually to the apex; the hindwing fringe is  
pale brown to white, checkered dark at the vein ends. The antennal club beneath is  
centrally darkened.

A random sample of 12 ♂ and 10 ♀ specimens gave the following wing  
measurements: ♂ forewing averaged 21.8 mm from base to apex and 12.1 mm from  
costa to tornus, varying from 18.5x10 to 25x13.5 (holotype of alva measured 22 x 12);  
hindwing tail length averaged 8 mm, varying from 7.5 to 10 (holotype of alva measured  
9 mm); ♀ forewing averaged 23.2 x 13.0, varying from 21 x 12 to 25 x 14; hindwing tail  
length averaged 10, varying from 9.5 to 11.

In the ♂ genitalia, viewed ventrally the uncus arms are narrowly separated, deeply  
divided, nearly parallel and diverging slightly towards the tips; the gnathos is slender,  
more or less pointed. The valvae are symmetrical, the ampulla with a rounded shoulder  
caudally where it meets the cucullus, its dorsal margin sinuous. The cucullus is quite  
variable, ranging from a short, blunt triangle to a long, slender, sharply pointed form  
with concave dorsal edge. It has a dentate dorsal area just caudad of the ampulla, which  
may be rounded or sharply pointed and usually protrudes dorsad beyond the dorsal  
edge of the ampulla.

In the ♀ genitalia the terminal margins of the papillae anales are more or less  
straight; the anterior margin of the sterigma a nearly straight line; the lamella  
postvaginalis with a moderately deep to occasionally shallow central indentation  
caudally; the lamella antevaginalis weakly sclerotized, its caudal margin with a broad  
shallow central concavity; the ductus bursae long and tapered; corpus bursae long,  
hooked like the letter "J".

271 specimens were examined from the following countries: Mexico 26 ♂, 11 ♀;  
Guatemala 4 ♂, 1 ♀; El Salvador 105 ♀, 97 ♀; Costa Rica 1 ♂, 2 ♀; Panama 2 ♂, 2 ♀;  
Colombia 9 ♂, 8 ♀; Ecuador 1 ♂; Bolivia 1 ♂; Argentina 1 ♂. 31 ♂ and 10 ♀ genitalia  
preparations were made and studied.

Evans considered belli and alva to be subspecies of viterboana. He separated alva  
from belli on the basis of the even width throughout of the under hindwing central band  
and a longer hindwing tail in belli. However, he listed one specimen each of both belli  
and viterboana from Yungas, La Paz; Bolivia, and one each of belli and alva from  
Tucuman, Argentina. This overlap of "subspecies" was in addition to the much more  
widespread overlap of alva and viterboana which occupy common territory from  
Mexico to Bolivia. I have seen specimens of belli, sensu Evans from Mexico and El  
Salvador. In view of the lack of genitalic difference between alva and belli and the broad,  
overlap of their geographic ranges I have placed alva in the synonymy of belli, which I  
re-raise to specific rank.

It should be mentioned here that I have not seen the type of belli, a female, nor any of  
the males later determined by Hayward (1948) as belli. Hayward did not illustrate the  
genitalia of any of these and the possibility exists that belli and alva are distinct  
entities, but until such time as examination of these specimens proves this true, I must  
consider alva to be a synonym of belli.

Evans prepared ♂ genitalia by "dry dissection" which involved tearing the genitalia  
from the abdomen and gluing the pieces to a card on the insect pin. Frequently the  
parts were badly broken in the process. This apparently happened to the type of alva.  
Portions of the valvae were left attached to the vinculum which remained in the  
abdomen. These not only do not fit the broken bases of the valvae glued to the card, but  
actually overlap them, indicating that the valvae on the card are from a different  
specimen than the type. In the unlikely event that alva should prove to be a valid  
species, distinct from belli, this could create a problem.


Hayward, Kenneth John. 1935. Los Pyrginae argentinos. Adiciones y anotaciones (Lep. Grypocera). Anales de la Sociedad científica argentina 119(6): 256-261, 4 figs. (June) [description of Goniurus belli]

Hayward, Kenneth John. 1948. Insecta. Lepidoptera (Rhopalocera), Familia Hesperidarum, Subfamilia Pyrrhopyginarum et Pyrginarum. In: H. R. Descole (Ed.), Genera et Species Animalium Argentinorum. Buenos Aires; Guillermo Kraft Ltd., 1: [10] + 389 pp., 27 pls. {21 Sep 1948}

Steinhauser, Stephen Rogers. 1981. A revision of the proteus group of the genus Urbanus Hübner. Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae. Bulletin of the Allyn Museum 62: 1-41, 61 figs. {4 September}. p. 17-19, f. 13, 14, 35, 50

Warren, Andrew D. 1997. Urbanus belli (Hesperiidae: Pyrginae): a new record for the United States. News of the Lepidopterists' Society 39(3): 41, 60, figs. F, J. {Summer, 15 Jun 1997}

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