Tarucus is a butterfly genus in the family Lycaenidae. They are commonly known as blue Pierrots or simply Pierrots. The latter name is often used for the closely related genus Castalius. The delimitation of Castalius versus Tarucus is not yet fully resolved, with some species, such as the dark Pierrot (T. ananda), having been moved between the two genera repeatedly. It may even be that they are eventually regarded as synonymous, and in that case the older name Castalius would supersede Tarucus by the Principle of Priority.
The genus can be divided in two distinct groups. These are generally separated geographically, but some taxa (such as the black-spotted Pierrot, T. balkanicus nigra), though assigned to one group, occur in the range of the other. Consequently, it is not quite clear whether the groups are clades or merely convenient but paraphyletic assemblages:
Tarucus balkanicus – Balkan Pierrot, little tiger blue
- Tarucus balkanicus nigra – black-spotted Pierrot
- Tarucus bowkeri (Trimen, 1883) – Bowker's blue
- Tarucus grammicus (Grose-Smith & Kirby, 1893) – black Pierrot
- Tarucus kiki Larsen, 1976 – Kiki's Pierrot
- Tarucus kulala Evans, 1955 – Turkana Pierrot
- Tarucus legrasi Stempffer, 1944 – Le Gras' Pierrot
- Tarucus quadratus Ogilvie-Grant, 1899
- Tarucus rosacea (Austaut, 1885) – Mediterranean tiger blue, Mediterranean Pierrot
- Tarucus sybaris (Hopffer, 1855) – Dotted blue
- Tarucus theophrastus – pointed Pierrot, African Pierrot, common tiger blue
- Tarucus thespis (Linnaeus, 1764) – Vivid blue
- Tarucus ungemachi Stempffer, 1944 – Ungemach's Pierrot
South Asian group:
- Tarucus ananda – dark Pierrot
- Tarucus callinara – spotted Pierrot
- Tarucus indica – Indian Pierrot
- Tarucus nara – striped Pierrot
- Tarucus venosus – veined Pierrot, Himalayan Pierrot
Tarucus waterstradti Druce, 1895
- Tarucus waterstradti dharta – Assam Pierrot
- ^ Brower (2008), and see references in Savela (2009)
ReferencesWikispecies has information related to Tarucus Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tarucus.
- Brower, Andrew V.Z. (2008): Tree of Life Web Project – Tarucus Moore 1881. The Blue Pierrots. Version of 19 May 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
- Savela, Markku (2009): Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and some other life forms – Tarucus. Version of 15 August 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
- Seitz, A. Die Gross-Schmetterlinge der Erde 13: Die Afrikanischen Tagfalter. Plate XIII 74 et prae
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