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.
Upperside of males pale blue; females with white patches. Underside tan with broken pale lines; forewing inner margin has "blank" areas with no spots.
Wing span : 3/4 - 1 3/8 inches (2 - 3.5 cm).
Subtropical thorn scrub , forest edges , weedy fields , residential areas.
Caterpillar hosts: Ornamental leadwort (Plumbago capensis), rattlebox (Crotalaria incana), hairy milk pea (Galactia volubilis), and lima bean (Phaseolus limensis). Adult food: Nectar from shepherd's needle , lippia, and many other flowers.
Eggs are laid singly on flower buds of the host plant; caterpillars eat flowers and seedpods. Predation and parasitism may be discouraged by ants , which tend the caterpillars and feed on their sugary secretions.
- 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
- Superorder: Panorpida ()
- Cohort: Myoglossata ()
- Infraclass: Pterygota ()
- Subclass: Dicondylia ()
- 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 .
Compare to Marine Blue.
Members of the genus Leptotes
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 4 species and subspecies in this genus:
- Search for Pictures: images.google.com
- Search for Scholarly Articles: Google Scholar
- Search using Scientific Name and Vernacular Names: All the Web | AltaVista Canada | AltaVista | Excite | Google | HotBot | Lycos
- Search using Specialized Databases: GenBank | Medline | Scirus | CISTI/CAL | Agricola Periodicals | Agricola Books
- Bibliography (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) / Charles A. Bridges. Urbana, Ill.: C.A. Bridges, c1993. url p. 10.
- Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). London: The Museum, 1950-1977. url p. 491.
- The Entomologist's record and journal of variation. s.l., s.n. url p. 151, p. 222, p. 245, p. 270, p. 283, p. 381, p. 39.
- 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.
- Tulane studies in zoology. 6 1958 New Orleans: Tulane University, 1953-1968. url fig. 4, page 72.
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Accessed February 17, 2008. http://www.gbif.org Mediated distribution data from 4 providers.
- LepIndex: The Global Lepidoptera Names Index. Release date: June 15, 2005
- Ruggiero M., Gordon D., Bailly N., Kirk P., Nicolson D. (2011). The Catalogue of Life Taxonomic Classification, Edition 2, Part A. In: Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2011 Annual Checklist (Bisby F.A., Roskov Y.R., Orrell T.M., Nicolson D., Paglinawan L.E., Bailly N., Kirk P.M., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Ouvrard D., eds). DVD; Species 2000: Reading, UK.
Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 17, 2008:
- Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad
- , Biodiversidad de Costa Rica
- University of Helsinki, Department of Applied Biology, Rancho Grande
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 2602675
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Lep-203901.0
- Global Biodiversity Information Facility Taxonkey: 14030235
- Natural Heritage Network Species Identifier: IILEPF6010
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 172011