The genus Taractrocera is distributed throughout the Oriental and Australian Regions. It contains 16 species, of which two, T. fusca and T. trikora, are described as new in this paper. All species are briefly characterized and the new species are described in full. The phylogeny of the genus is inferred, based on an analysis of morphological and genital characters, both of males and females. The biogeography of the genus is discussed in relation to the phylogeny. The genus has an Australian origin. After some diversification in Australia it dispersed into Asia, in or before the Miocene. It dispersed in the reverse direction, probably before the late-Miocene emergence of the Banda Arc and the Moluccas, 5-6 Mya. Three species are adapted to high altitude, one in the Himalayas and two in New Guinea. Apparently the adaptations occurred independently in the two areas. In New Guinea the high altitude species may have simply been carried up by the Pleistocene and recent uplift of the mountains. Possibly helped by the lowering of the sea-level several times during the Pleistocene, one Australian species colonized some of the Lesser Sunda Islands relatively recently.

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Zoologische Mededelingen

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Naturalis journals & series

de Jong, R. (2004). Phylogeny and biogeography of the genus Taractrocera Butler, 1870 (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae), an example of Southeast Asian-Australian interchange. Zoologische Mededelingen, 78, 18-28, 383–415.