Lesser purple emperor Apatura ilia, copyright Milan Arnošt Václavík.

Belongs within: Nymphalidae.

The Apaturinae, emperors, are a group of butterflies whose caterpillars mostly feed on species of Ulmaceae. The larvae are smooth, often slug-like, and possess a pair of branched thin horns on the head (Braby 2000). Adults have thick bodies and sharp wings, and are known as fast fliers among the tree canopy (Wahlberg et al. 2003).

| i. s.: HelcyraJ03
| Apaturina Herrich-Schäffer 1864B00
| `--A. erminea (Cramer 1779)B00
| |--A. e. ermineaB00
| `--A. e. papuanaB00
| Sasakia charonda (Hewitson 1863)J03, I92
| ChitoriaJ03
|--+--Asterocampa leiliaWWN03
| `--Timelaea albescensWWN03
|--A. iliaTYM08
| |--A. i. iliaTYM08
| `--A. i. submarginalis Kishida & Nakamura 1934TYM08
|--A. iris (Linnaeus 1758)G20, L58 [=Papilio (Nymphalis) irisL58, G20]
| |--A. i. irisTYM08
| `--A. i. ocellata Kishida & Nakamura 1934TYM08
|--A. lavinia (Butler 1866) [=Chlorippe (Apatura) lavinia]B66
`--A. metisP93

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B00] Braby, M. F. 2000. Butterflies of Australia: their identification, biology and distribution vol. 2. CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood (Victoria).

[B66] Butler, A. G. 1866. Descriptions of some new exotic butterflies in the National Collection. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 39–42.

[G20] Goldfuss, G. A. 1820. Handbuch der Naturgeschichte vol. 3. Handbuch der Zoologie pt 1. Johann Leonhard Schrag: Nürnberg.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[J03] Jong, R. de. 2003. Are there butterflies with Gondwanan ancestry in the Australian region? Invertebrate Systematics 17: 143–156.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis revised 10th ed. vol. 1. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[P93] Pittaway, A. R. 1993. The Hawkmoths of the Western Palaearctic. Harley Books: Colchester.

[TYM08] Tennent, W. J., M. Yasuda & K. Morimoto. 2008. Lansania Journal of arachnology and zoology—a rare and obscure Japanese natural history journal. Archives of Natural History 35 (2): 252–280.

[WWN03] Wahlberg, N., E. Weingartner & S. Nylin. 2003. Towards a better understanding of the higher systematics of Nymphalidae (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 28: 473–484.

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