Common Names in English:
'The Lycaenidae are members
of the Superfamily
Papilionoidea, the true butterflies. Worldwide in distribution, this family
has approximately 4,700 species that are unevenly distributed. Coppers are especially dominant in north temperate regions
, blues are richest
in the Old World tropics and north temperate
zones, and hairstreaks are particularly abundant in New World tropics. The adults
are typically small to tiny and often brilliantly colored--iridescent blues, bright reds, and oranges. Adults of both sexes have three pairs of walking legs
, though most males have fused segments in their front legs. Most adults visit flowers for nectar, but some harvesters feed
on wooly aphid honeydew and some hairstreaks feed on aphid honeydew or bird droppings. Females lay
urchin shaped eggs
on host leaves or flower buds; the resulting caterpillars are typically slug-shaped. In many species, caterpillars depend on ants
for protection, so caterpillars produce
sugary secretions that are collected by the ants. Most species overwinter in either the egg or pupal stage.
Blues are tiny to small butterflies of the Family Lycaenidae. Distributed worldwide, they are most diverse in Southeast Asia, tropical Africa, and northern temperate regions . Most of the nearly 50 North American species are found in the west. Adult males are predominantly blue above, due to reflected light rather than pigmentation . Some males and most females are largely brown above. Below, wings of both sexes are usually gray-white with black spots or streaks. Adults in some genera (Euphilotes, Lycaeides, Plebulina, and Icaricia) have more or less prominent orange submarginal bands on their hindwings . Most adults are found near their host plants , and they do not fly long distances , though some tropical and subtropical species undertake long migrations. Adults visit flowers for nectar. Males frequent moist sand and mud , and females lay eggs singly on host plant leaves or flowers. As caterpillars, they secrete sugary secretions that attract ants , and caterpillars of some species are raised in ant nests. Blues usually overwinter in the pupal stage.
Species Brephidium exilis
Tiny. Upperside copper brown with dull blue at the bases of both wings . Underside of hindwing is copper brown with white at the base; fringe mostly white; 3 small black spots near base; row of black spots at outer margin . (ref. 105742)
Tiny. Upperside copper brown with dull blue at the bases of both wings . Underside of hindwing is copper brown with white at the base; fringe mostly white; 3 small black spots near base; row of black spots at outer margin .
Wing span : 1/2 - 3/4 inch (1.2 - 2 cm).
Alkaline areas such as deserts, salt marshes, and wasteland.
Males patrol over the host plants all day to find receptive females. Females lay eggs all over the host but particularly on the uppersides of leaves. Caterpillars eat all parts of the plant. Chrysalids hibernate.
Flight: July-September in the north, all year in South Texas.
- Whittaker & Margulis,1978
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Grobben, 1908
- A.M.A. Aguinaldo et al., 1997 ex T. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Latreille, 1829
- Snodgrass, 1938
- Heymons, 1901
- C. Linnaeus, 1758
- Order: Lepidoptera () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - Butterflies and Moths
- Superorder: Panorpida ()
- Cohort: Myoglossata ()
- Infraclass: Pterygota ()
- Subclass: Dicondylia ()
- Class: Insecta () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - Insects
- Epiclass: Hexapoda ()
- Superclass: Panhexapoda ()
- Infraphylum: Atelocerata () - Heymons, 1901
- Subphylum: Mandibulata () - Snodgrass, 1938
- Phylum: Arthropoda () - Latreille, 1829 - Arthropods
- Superphylum: Panarthropoda () - Cuvier
- Infrakingdom: Ecdysozoa () - A.M.A. Aguinaldo et al., 1997 ex T. Cavalier-Smith, 1998
- Branch: Protostomia () - Grobben, 1908
- Subkingdom: Bilateria () - (Hatschek, 1888) Cavalier-Smith, 1983
- Kingdom: Animalia () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - animals
Name Status: Accepted Name .
Members of the genus Brephidium
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 5 species and subspecies in this genus:
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- Bibliography (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) / Charles A. Bridges. Urbana, Ill.: C.A. Bridges, c1993. url p. 232, p. 381, p. 76, p. 83.
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- Catalogue of the family-group, genus-group and species-group names of the Riodinidae & Lycaenidae (Lepidoptera) of the world / Charles A. Bridges. Urbana, Ill.: C.A. Bridges, c1994. url p. 22, p. 24, p. 70.
- Entomological news, and proceedings of the Entomological Section of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Philadelphia[Entomological Rooms of the Academy of Natural Sciences] url p. 115.
- Entomological news. [Philadelphia]American Entomological Society, 1925- url p. 2, p. 258, p. 278.
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- Guide to California insects. Berkeley, The Law press, 1913. url p. 20, p. 30.
- Journal of entomology and zoology. Claremont, Calif., U.S.A.: Pomona College Dept. of Zoology, [1913- url p. 34, p. 34.
- Journal of the New York Entomological Society. Lawrence, Kan.: Allen Press [etc.] url p. 165.
- Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 4th series. San Francisco, California Academy of Sciences. url p. 303.
- Proceedings of the Entomological Society of British Columbia. [s.l.]: Entomological Society of British Columbia. url p. 19.
- Proceedings of the United States National Museum. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, [etc.] url p. 613, p. 78.
- The Lepidopterists' news: the monthly newsletter of the Lepidopterists' Society. Cambridge, Mass.: Lepidopterists' Society, 1947-1958. url p. 90.
- The Macrolepidoptera of the world; a systematic description of the hitherto known Macrolepidoptera, ed. in collaboration with well-known specialists. Stuttgart: Seitz'schen (Kernen), 1906- url p. 820.
- The University of Kansas science bulletin. 26 1939 [Lawrence]: University of Kansas, 1902-1996. url p. 347.
- Transactions of the San Diego Society of Natural History. 6 1930 [San Diego]: The Society, 1905-1989. url p. 27, p. 393.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 10, 2012.
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2602629
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Lep-201950.0
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: IILEPF5010
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 172525