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.
Biome: Terrestrial .
The genus Lepidochrysops
has a remarkable life history
; the larvae feed
first two instars, then induce ants
to carry them to their nests
where they feed on the ant brood, pupating in the tunnels of the
ant nest (Henning and Henning 1989). This species inhabits
, specialised patches of Nama Karoo; where flat, sandy ground
is covered by low bushes and succulents (Woodhall 2005, Henning et
List of Habitats :
- 3 Shrubland
- 3.5 Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
- 3.8 Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation [more info]
- 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
- Order: Lepidoptera () - C. Linnaeus, 1758 - Butterflies and Moths
- 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 .
Members of the genus Lepidochrysops
ZipcodeZoo has pages for 7 species and subspecies in this genus:
L. bacchus (Wineland Blue) · L. badhami (Badham's Blue) · L. barnesi (Barnes' Blue) · L. kitale (Kitale Giant Cupid) · L. lerothodi (Lesotho Blue) · L. penningtoni (Penningtons Blue) · L. quickelbergei (Quickelberges Blue)
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- Groombridge, B. (ed.) 1994. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
- Henning, G.A., Terblanche, R.F. and Ball, J.B. 2009. South African Red Data Book: butterflies. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.
- Henning, S.F. and Henning, G.A. 1989. South African red data book: butterflies. South African National Scientific Program Report. Foundation for Research Development, Pretoria.
- IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.2). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 10 November 2011).
- Samways, M.J. 1993. Threatened Lycaenidae of South Africa. In: T.R. New (ed.), Conservation Biology of Lycaenidae (Butterflies), pp. 62?69. IUCN Species Survival Commission, Gland, Switzerland.
- WWF; McGinley, M. (Topic Editor). 2008. Succulent Karoo. Washington, D.C Available at: http://www.eoearth.org/article/Succulent_Karoo. (Accessed: March 2).
- Woodhall, S. 2005. Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa. Struik, Cape Town.
- Brands, S.J. (comp.) 1989-present. The Taxonomicon. Universal Taxonomic Services, Zwaag, The Netherlands. Accessed January 10, 2012.
- IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. . Downloaded on January 28, 2012.
- Larsen, T.B. 2011. Lepidochrysops badhami. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloadedon 01February2012.
- Biodiversity Heritage Library NamebankID: 3131645
- Catalogue of Life Accepted Name Code: Lep-203741.0
- IUCN ID: 218599
- Zipcode Zoo Species Identifier: 6560
- http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/taxonomy?f=16&sci=Lycaenidae&com=Gossamer-wing Butterflies [back]
- http://bugguide.net/index.php?q=search&keys=Plebulina&search=Search [back]
- Larsen, T.B. 2011. Lepidochrysops badhami. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 February 2012. [back]