A revision of the Charis gynaea group of Neotropical riodinid butterflies is presented. We recognize eight species, including five that are described here: C. barnesi, C. callaghani, C. gallardi, C. nicolayi, and C. smalli. The taxa zama and candiope, previously treated as subspecies of Charis gynaea, are both returned to species status (stat. revs.), and the latter is excluded from the gynaea group. The taxon pyritis is synonymized with C. candiope (n. syn.). A cladistic analysis using seventeen characters of male and female genitalia and external facies generated a single most parsimonious cladogram indicating the existence of two clades, one containing smalli nicolayi and the other containing the remaining species. In the latter gynaea clade, all species except C. hermodora are distributed parapatrically throughout the Neotropics. An area cladogram indicates the historical relationships among endemic centers for this last group to be southeast Brazil (Guianas (Central America Amazon)). This hypothesis is compared with those generated for birds.
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Vol. 94 • No. 5