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The Limenitidinae are a subfamily of butterflies that includes the admirals and relatives. The common names of many species and genera reference military ranks or – namely the Adoliadinititles of nobility (e.g., count, duke, earl, and marquis), in reference to these butterflies' large size, bold patterns, and dashing flight. In particular, the light stripe running lengthwise across the wings of many Limenitidini has reminded earlier authors of officers' (e.g. admiral, commander, commodore) shoulder marks and epaulets.

In flight, many of these butterflies have the habit of flapping their wings, so the (usually) bright upperside and the cryptic underside alternate for the observer, then gliding for prolonged distances, with the motionless wings held outstretched. The common names of some Limenitidinae – "aeroplanes", "clippers", or "gliders" – refer to this flight pattern.


The Biblidinae are sometimes merged here. The present subfamily is also sometimes included as a tribe Limenitidini in the Nymphalinae. But in fact, their closest living relatives seem to be the Heliconiinae.[1]

The Limenitidinae are traditionally divided into four tribes, of which the Parthenini are the most basal lineage and the others form a close-knit and more apomorphic radiation. While this basic layout is likely to be fairly correct, a few genera cannot be easily assigned to the three "modern" tribes and seem to be somewhat intermediate. In particular, the delimitation of the Limenitidini versus the Neptini is in need of more study.[2]

The genera of Limenitidinae, sorted per tribe in the presumed phylogenetic sequence and with some species also listed, are:[2]

Tribe Parthenini Reuter, 1896

Tribe Adoliadini Doubleday, 1845

Tribe Limenitidini Behr, 1864

Tribe Neptini Newman, 1870

Incertae sedis

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