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Nymphalidae
Scientific classification :
Kingdom :	 Animalia
Clade : Euarthropoda
Class : Insecta
Order : Lepidoptera
Superfamily : Papilionoidea
Family : Nymphalidae Rafinesque, 1815
Introduction :
The family Nymphalidae is the most speciose family of butterflies with about 6000 described
species so far. The family contains many well-known species, such as the monarch, the Painted
Lady, the buckeye, the fritillaries, checkerspots and the electric blue morphos. Indeed, nymphalids
are in many places the most visible members of the local butterfly fauna. Due to their visibility and
ease of study in the field and lab, many species of nymphalids have been used as model systems to
understand the complexity of life on this planet. Nymphalidae (Brush-Footed Butterflies) This is a
large family of small- to large-sized butterflies. The front feet are atrophied and used as sensory
organs, while the remaining feet are used for locomotion. Brush-Footed butterflies are important
visitors of various wildflowers, although a few species prefer tree sap, fermenting fruit, or dung.
Nomenclature :
Rafinesque introduced the name Nymphalia as a subfamily name in diurnal Lepidoptera.
Rafinesque did not include Nymphalis among the listed genera, but Nymphalis was unequivocally
implied in the formation of the name .The attribution of the Nymphalidae to Rafinesque has now
been widely adopted
Classification :
✤ In adult butterflies, the first pair of legs are small or reduced, giving the family the other names
of four-footed or brush-footed butterflies. The caterpillars are hairy or spiky with projections on
the head, and the chrysalids have shiny spots.
1
✤ The forewing has the submedial vein (vein 1) unbranched and in one subfamily forked near base;
medial vein with three branches, veins 2, 3, and 4; veins 5 and 6 arising from the points of
junction of the discocellulars; subcostal vein and its continuation beyond apex of cell, vein 7,
with never more than four branches, veins 8–11; 8 and 9 always arising from vein 7, 10, and also
11 sometimes from vein 7 but more often free, i.e., given off by the subcostal vein before apex of
cell.
✤ The hindwing has internal and precostal veins. The cell in both wings closed or open, often
closed in the fore, open in the hindwing. Dorsal margin of hind wing channelled to receive the
abdomen in many of the forms.
✤ Antennae always with two grooves on the underside; club variable in shape. Throughout the
family, the front pair of legs in the male, and with three exceptions (Libythea, Pseudergolis, and
Calinaga) in the female also, is reduced in size and functionally impotent; in some the atrophy of
the forelegs is considerable, e.g., Danainae and Satyrinae.
✤ In many of the forms of these subfamilies, the fore legs are kept pressed against the underside of
the thorax, and are in the male often very inconspicuous.
Geographic Range :
This is a large and diverse family of butterflies. Over 4,000 species of Brushfoots are found all
around the world
Biogeographic Regions: earctic (Native ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian
(Native ); neotropical (Native ); australian (Native )
Morphology :
Physical Description
This family of butterflies gets its name from its front legs. They are shorter than the other four legs,
and they don't use them to walk or stand. These front legs don't have feet, just little brushes of hairs
that the butterflies can use to smell and taste with. Sometimes the front legs are so small you can't
see them.
2
Many of the caterpillars have horns or spines or bumps to discourage predators. Some are dark
colored, some are green or yellow, many have stripes or spots.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes shaped differently
Habitat :
Species in this family are so variable that it is hard to generalize. Brushfoot butterflies can be found
in almost any habitat that has plants.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: taiga ; desert or dune ; chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ; mountains
Wetlands: marsh ; swamp ; bog
Food Habits :
Caterpillars of different species of brushfoots eat many different kinds of plants. Many specialize on
just a few species or one family of plants. Some specialize on thistles or nettles, some on willow
trees, some on plants in the daisy family, some on violets.
Adults sometimes sip nectar, but many species in this group seem to prefer tree sap or rotting fruit,
and some feed on dung or mud.
Life Cycle
Like all Moths and Butterflies, this family has complete metamorphosis. See More Information on
Butterflies and Moths for an explanation of this. Pupae do not make cocoons in this family, they are
chrysalids. Usually it is the larvae that hibernate in this group, but a few species survive the winter
as adults.
Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis
Reproduction :-
Mating System: polygynous

After mating, females lay up to several hundred eggs. Some species lay their eggs one at time,
others lay clusters together (this relates to the behavior of the caterpillars after they hatch)
3
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; sexual ; fertilization (Internal );
oviparous Once they have laid their eggs, there is no parental care in these species.

Glasswing butterfly
Sub families of Nymphalidae
4
Pieridae
Scientific classification :
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Atelocerata
Class: Hexapoda (including Insecta)
Infraclass: Neoptera
Subclass: Pterygota
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Papilionoidea
Family: Pieridae
Introduction :
The Pieridae are a large family of butterflies with about 76 genera containing about 1,100 species,
mostly from tropical Africa and tropical Asia with some varieties in the more northern regions of
North America. Most pierid butterflies are white, yellow, or orange in coloration, often with black
spots. The pigments that give the distinct colouring to these butterflies are derived from waste
products in the body and are a characteristic of this family. The sexes usually differ, often in the
pattern or number of the black markings. The larvae (caterpillars) of a few of these species, such as
Pieris brassicae and Pieris rapae, commonly seen in gardens, feed on brassicas, and are notorious
agricultural pests. Males of many species exhibit gregarious mud-puddling behavior when they
may imbibe salts from moist soils.
Classification :

The Pieridae have the radial vein on the forewing with three or four branches and rarely with five
branches. The fore legs are well developed in both sexes, unlike in the Nymphalidae, and the tarsal
claws are bifid unlike in the Papilionidae. Like the Papilionidae, the Pieridae also have their pupae
held at an angle by a silk girdle, but running at the first abdominal segment unlike the thoracic
girdle seen in the Papilionidae.
5
Subfamilies :

The Pieridae are generally divided into these four subfamilies:
1. Dismorphiinae (six genera), mostly Neotropical, this group includes several mimetical species.
The host plants are in the family Fabaceae.
2. Pierinae (55 genera), whites, yellow, orange-tips, many of these species are strongly migratory.
Host plants are in the families Capparidaceae, Brassicaceae, Santalaceae, and Loranthaceae.
3. Coliadinae (14 genera), sulphurs or yellows, many of these species are sexually dimorphic.
Some, such as colias, have wing patterns that are visible only under ultraviolet.
4. Pseudopontiinae, the sole species in this subfamily, Pseudopontia paradoxa, is endemic to West
Africa.
Geographic Range :-
There are over 1,100 species in this family, and they are found all over the world. There are 58
species in the U.S., and we have 17 different species in Michigan.
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced , Native ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native );
ethiopian (Native ); neotropical (Native ); australian (Native ); oceanic islands (Introduced ,Native )
Morphology :
Physical Description
Adult butterflies in this family are nearly all white or yellow, which is where they get their name.
Their wings may have a few dark spots, or a dark edge, but they don't have many stripes or spots.
They are medium-sized butterflies, with all six legs fully developed. In some species the color of
adults is affected by the temperature when they pupated. Cooler temperatures usually produce
darker colors.
Some species of Whites feed on plants in the mustard family that have toxic chemicals for
protection. The caterpillars store the toxins in their body to discourage predators from eating them.
Some other species of Whites may be mimicking the toxic ones by having similar wing colors and
patterns.
6
The caterpillars in this group are mostly green or yellow and cylinder-shaped, and are covered with
fine hairs or little black .
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike; female larger
Habitat :
These butterfly species can be found in open areas wherever their food plants occur. Some species
live in the Arctic tundra, others in tropical jungle. They are most common in places with lots of
plant growth, but some feed on desert plants, and some in high rocky mountains. They feed on leafy
weeds and herbs and vegetables, not trees, so they are most common in meadows and open areas,
not forests.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; polar ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: tundra ; taiga ; desert or dune ; chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ;
mountains Wetlands: marsh ; swamp ; bog
Food Habits :
Caterpillars of whites and sulfurs eat the leaves and flowers of plants. Most species only eat plants
in the mustard family (including cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, and related vegetables) or
in the bean family (including alfalfa and peas).
Adults sip flowers for nectar and mud for minerals and water.
Life Cycle
Development
Like all butterflies, these have complete metamorphosis. The caterpillars that hatch from the eggs
eat and grow fast. They do not make a coccoon, but do attach themselves to plants with silk threads.
Species in cold climates hibernate as caterpillars or pupae, and may have more than one generation
over the summer.
Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis
7
Reproduction :-
After mating, the females in these species lay hundreds of eggs. They place the eggs one per leaf on
the underside of the leaf. They only lay eggs on the plants their offspring need to eat (see Food
Habits).
Breeding season: Spring, Summer, and Early Fall.

Key Reproductive Features: semelparous ; seasonal breeding
cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae) adult. large white butterfly (Pieris brassicae) adult
Life cycle of Redspot Sawtooth -
Prioneris clemanthe
1.Egg laying
2-3: larva feeding on plant
4-5 :pupal stage
6. Adult stage
8
Lycaenidae
Scientific classification :
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Papilionoidea
Family: Lycaenidae Leach, 1815
Description :-
Lycaenidae (Gossamer-Winged Butterflies)

These are small butterflies with iridescent colors. The three most important subfamilies are the
Hairstreaks (Theclinae), Coppers (Lycaeninae), and Blues (Polyommotinae). Butterflies in this
family often visit composite flowers (Asteraceae) and small wildflowers from other families.
Theclinae (Hairstreaks): These butterflies are silvery grey with rows of red or blue dots on the wing
undersides, while the uppersides (exposed when the wings are outstretched) are a drab gray, brown,
or black. Sometimes there is a small tail on each hindwing.
The caterpillars feed on various trees and shrubs, including willows, wild cherries, hawthorns, oaks,
hickories, and sumac. The species Strymon melinus (Gray Hairstreak), also feeds on some
herbaceous plants, such as Mallows and Smartweeds. Lycaeninae (Coppers): These butterflies are
orange and silvery gray with scattered black dots on the wing undersides. The uppersides have vivid
orange and black patterns, although they are sometimes greyish or purplish in overall appearance.
The larvae feed primarily on Rumex spp. (Dock) and Polygonum spp. (Smartweed and Knotweed).
Polyommotinae (Blues): The Blues are silvery grey, or blue on the wing undersides, with rows of
black dots and a patch of orange on the hindwings. The wing uppersides are silvery blue with white
or black edges. Some species have small tails on the hind wings, and females are sometimes gray on
the uppersides.
9
The caterpillars of Blues usually feed on legumes, although the caterpillars of Celastrina argiolus
(Spring/Summer Azure) feed on various small trees and shrubs, including Dogwood, Wild Cherry,
Sumac, New Jersey Tea, and Viburnum. The caterpillars of Blues often secrete a honey dew that
attracts ants.
Geographic distribution :-
There are nearly 5,000 species in this family around the world, but most only live in the tropics. We
only have about 145 in the United States, and 32 species in Michigan.
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian
(Native ); neotropical (Native ); australian (Native ); antarctica (Native ); oceanic islands (Native )
Geographic Range:
Nearctic, Palearctic, Oriental, Ethiopian, Neotropical, Australian, Oceanic Island
Morphology :
Physical Description
This group of butterflies get their common names from their wings. Some groups have shiny blue
on their wings, others are the color of copper. Some have very thin little "tails" on their wings that
are called hairstreaks. Many are not so colorful, and have gray or brown wings with spots of black,
white, or orange. They are usually small butterflies, with wingspans of 25 mm or less. Some species
have males with reduced front legs like the Brushfoot family, but females always have all 6 legs for
walking and standing.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: female larger; male more colorful
Habitat :
Adults in this family are usually found close to the food plants of the caterpillars. This usually
means around forest edges, open fields, along streams, and other open but vegetated areas.
10
Caterpillars in this family are found on their food plants, or in the company of ants.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: tundra ; taiga ; desert or dune ; chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ;
mountains
Wetlands: marsh ; swamp ; bog
Food Habits
learn more about this article
Caterpillars in this family eat a wider variety of foods than other butterfly families. Some species
eat leaves, but others specialize in flowers or fruit. One species is a predator! This is very rare in
butterflies and moths. It feeds on Aphididae, and females lay their eggs near their insect prey.
Some adults sip nectar, but many prefer tree sap or puddles.
Life Cycle
Development
Like all Moths and Butterflies, this family has complete metamorphosis. See More Information on
Butterflies and Moths for an explanation of this. Some species in this group spin cocoons, others
don't but the pupae attach themselves to plant stems with silk. Different species overwinter in
different stages, usually larvae or pupae, rarely eggs and never as adults.
Development -
After mating, females lay eggs one by one on the flowers, twigs or leaves of food plants. This group
often has two generations a year, one that spends the winter as caterpillars or pupae and fly as adults
in the spring, and a second that complete their life-cycle in the summer and fly as adults in the fall.
Breeding season: May to October in Michigan.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; sexual ; oviparous These butterflies
don't care for their young.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement
11
Reproduction :
After mating, females lay eggs one by one on the flowers, twigs or leaves of food plants. This group
often has two generations a year, one that spends the winter as caterpillars or pupae and fly as adults
in the spring, and a second that complete their life-cycle in the summer and fly as adults in the fall.
Breeding season: May to October in Michigan.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; sexual ; oviparous These butterflies
don't care for their young.

Parental Investment: no parental involvement
Small fire falter large green underwing buterfly
12
Life cycle of Castalius rosimon
REFERENCES :-
1. Naomi Pierce.E., Michael Braby,F., David Lohman, J., Douglas Rand ,B., Mark, A. 2004
The ecology and evolution of lycanidae 47(1):259-267
2. Antram, C.B. Butterflies of India 2002 A Mittal publication, New Delhi P: 98-105
3. WynterBlyth, M. A. Butterflies of the Indian Region 1957 By Bombay Natural History
Society, Mumbai, India P: 35-39
4. Lieut. Colonel C. T. Bingham The Fauna Of British India Butterflies. Vol I and VolII 1905
and 1907 P: 156-175
13

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Nymphalidae , Pieridae , Lycaenidae complete details (Butterfly families)

  • 1. Nymphalidae Scientific classification : Kingdom : Animalia Clade : Euarthropoda Class : Insecta Order : Lepidoptera Superfamily : Papilionoidea Family : Nymphalidae Rafinesque, 1815 Introduction : The family Nymphalidae is the most speciose family of butterflies with about 6000 described species so far. The family contains many well-known species, such as the monarch, the Painted Lady, the buckeye, the fritillaries, checkerspots and the electric blue morphos. Indeed, nymphalids are in many places the most visible members of the local butterfly fauna. Due to their visibility and ease of study in the field and lab, many species of nymphalids have been used as model systems to understand the complexity of life on this planet. Nymphalidae (Brush-Footed Butterflies) This is a large family of small- to large-sized butterflies. The front feet are atrophied and used as sensory organs, while the remaining feet are used for locomotion. Brush-Footed butterflies are important visitors of various wildflowers, although a few species prefer tree sap, fermenting fruit, or dung. Nomenclature : Rafinesque introduced the name Nymphalia as a subfamily name in diurnal Lepidoptera. Rafinesque did not include Nymphalis among the listed genera, but Nymphalis was unequivocally implied in the formation of the name .The attribution of the Nymphalidae to Rafinesque has now been widely adopted Classification : ✤ In adult butterflies, the first pair of legs are small or reduced, giving the family the other names of four-footed or brush-footed butterflies. The caterpillars are hairy or spiky with projections on the head, and the chrysalids have shiny spots. 1
  • 2. ✤ The forewing has the submedial vein (vein 1) unbranched and in one subfamily forked near base; medial vein with three branches, veins 2, 3, and 4; veins 5 and 6 arising from the points of junction of the discocellulars; subcostal vein and its continuation beyond apex of cell, vein 7, with never more than four branches, veins 8–11; 8 and 9 always arising from vein 7, 10, and also 11 sometimes from vein 7 but more often free, i.e., given off by the subcostal vein before apex of cell. ✤ The hindwing has internal and precostal veins. The cell in both wings closed or open, often closed in the fore, open in the hindwing. Dorsal margin of hind wing channelled to receive the abdomen in many of the forms. ✤ Antennae always with two grooves on the underside; club variable in shape. Throughout the family, the front pair of legs in the male, and with three exceptions (Libythea, Pseudergolis, and Calinaga) in the female also, is reduced in size and functionally impotent; in some the atrophy of the forelegs is considerable, e.g., Danainae and Satyrinae. ✤ In many of the forms of these subfamilies, the fore legs are kept pressed against the underside of the thorax, and are in the male often very inconspicuous. Geographic Range : This is a large and diverse family of butterflies. Over 4,000 species of Brushfoots are found all around the world Biogeographic Regions: earctic (Native ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Native ); neotropical (Native ); australian (Native ) Morphology : Physical Description This family of butterflies gets its name from its front legs. They are shorter than the other four legs, and they don't use them to walk or stand. These front legs don't have feet, just little brushes of hairs that the butterflies can use to smell and taste with. Sometimes the front legs are so small you can't see them. 2
  • 3. Many of the caterpillars have horns or spines or bumps to discourage predators. Some are dark colored, some are green or yellow, many have stripes or spots. Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry
 Sexual Dimorphism: sexes shaped differently Habitat : Species in this family are so variable that it is hard to generalize. Brushfoot butterflies can be found in almost any habitat that has plants. Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial
 Terrestrial Biomes: taiga ; desert or dune ; chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ; mountains Wetlands: marsh ; swamp ; bog Food Habits : Caterpillars of different species of brushfoots eat many different kinds of plants. Many specialize on just a few species or one family of plants. Some specialize on thistles or nettles, some on willow trees, some on plants in the daisy family, some on violets. Adults sometimes sip nectar, but many species in this group seem to prefer tree sap or rotting fruit, and some feed on dung or mud. Life Cycle Like all Moths and Butterflies, this family has complete metamorphosis. See More Information on Butterflies and Moths for an explanation of this. Pupae do not make cocoons in this family, they are chrysalids. Usually it is the larvae that hibernate in this group, but a few species survive the winter as adults. Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis Reproduction :- Mating System: polygynous
 After mating, females lay up to several hundred eggs. Some species lay their eggs one at time, others lay clusters together (this relates to the behavior of the caterpillars after they hatch) 3
  • 4. Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; sexual ; fertilization (Internal ); oviparous Once they have laid their eggs, there is no parental care in these species.
 Glasswing butterfly Sub families of Nymphalidae 4
  • 5. Pieridae Scientific classification : Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Subphylum: Atelocerata Class: Hexapoda (including Insecta) Infraclass: Neoptera Subclass: Pterygota Order: Lepidoptera Superfamily: Papilionoidea Family: Pieridae Introduction : The Pieridae are a large family of butterflies with about 76 genera containing about 1,100 species, mostly from tropical Africa and tropical Asia with some varieties in the more northern regions of North America. Most pierid butterflies are white, yellow, or orange in coloration, often with black spots. The pigments that give the distinct colouring to these butterflies are derived from waste products in the body and are a characteristic of this family. The sexes usually differ, often in the pattern or number of the black markings. The larvae (caterpillars) of a few of these species, such as Pieris brassicae and Pieris rapae, commonly seen in gardens, feed on brassicas, and are notorious agricultural pests. Males of many species exhibit gregarious mud-puddling behavior when they may imbibe salts from moist soils. Classification :
 The Pieridae have the radial vein on the forewing with three or four branches and rarely with five branches. The fore legs are well developed in both sexes, unlike in the Nymphalidae, and the tarsal claws are bifid unlike in the Papilionidae. Like the Papilionidae, the Pieridae also have their pupae held at an angle by a silk girdle, but running at the first abdominal segment unlike the thoracic girdle seen in the Papilionidae. 5
  • 6. Subfamilies :
 The Pieridae are generally divided into these four subfamilies: 1. Dismorphiinae (six genera), mostly Neotropical, this group includes several mimetical species. The host plants are in the family Fabaceae. 2. Pierinae (55 genera), whites, yellow, orange-tips, many of these species are strongly migratory. Host plants are in the families Capparidaceae, Brassicaceae, Santalaceae, and Loranthaceae. 3. Coliadinae (14 genera), sulphurs or yellows, many of these species are sexually dimorphic. Some, such as colias, have wing patterns that are visible only under ultraviolet. 4. Pseudopontiinae, the sole species in this subfamily, Pseudopontia paradoxa, is endemic to West Africa. Geographic Range :- There are over 1,100 species in this family, and they are found all over the world. There are 58 species in the U.S., and we have 17 different species in Michigan. Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced , Native ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Native ); neotropical (Native ); australian (Native ); oceanic islands (Introduced ,Native ) Morphology : Physical Description Adult butterflies in this family are nearly all white or yellow, which is where they get their name. Their wings may have a few dark spots, or a dark edge, but they don't have many stripes or spots. They are medium-sized butterflies, with all six legs fully developed. In some species the color of adults is affected by the temperature when they pupated. Cooler temperatures usually produce darker colors. Some species of Whites feed on plants in the mustard family that have toxic chemicals for protection. The caterpillars store the toxins in their body to discourage predators from eating them. Some other species of Whites may be mimicking the toxic ones by having similar wing colors and patterns. 6
  • 7. The caterpillars in this group are mostly green or yellow and cylinder-shaped, and are covered with fine hairs or little black . Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike; female larger Habitat : These butterfly species can be found in open areas wherever their food plants occur. Some species live in the Arctic tundra, others in tropical jungle. They are most common in places with lots of plant growth, but some feed on desert plants, and some in high rocky mountains. They feed on leafy weeds and herbs and vegetables, not trees, so they are most common in meadows and open areas, not forests. Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; polar ; terrestrial
 Terrestrial Biomes: tundra ; taiga ; desert or dune ; chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ; mountains Wetlands: marsh ; swamp ; bog Food Habits : Caterpillars of whites and sulfurs eat the leaves and flowers of plants. Most species only eat plants in the mustard family (including cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, and related vegetables) or in the bean family (including alfalfa and peas). Adults sip flowers for nectar and mud for minerals and water. Life Cycle Development Like all butterflies, these have complete metamorphosis. The caterpillars that hatch from the eggs eat and grow fast. They do not make a coccoon, but do attach themselves to plants with silk threads. Species in cold climates hibernate as caterpillars or pupae, and may have more than one generation over the summer. Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis 7
  • 8. Reproduction :- After mating, the females in these species lay hundreds of eggs. They place the eggs one per leaf on the underside of the leaf. They only lay eggs on the plants their offspring need to eat (see Food Habits). Breeding season: Spring, Summer, and Early Fall.
 Key Reproductive Features: semelparous ; seasonal breeding cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae) adult. large white butterfly (Pieris brassicae) adult Life cycle of Redspot Sawtooth - Prioneris clemanthe 1.Egg laying 2-3: larva feeding on plant 4-5 :pupal stage 6. Adult stage 8
  • 9. Lycaenidae Scientific classification : Kingdom: Animalia Clade: Euarthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Lepidoptera Superfamily: Papilionoidea Family: Lycaenidae Leach, 1815 Description :- Lycaenidae (Gossamer-Winged Butterflies)
 These are small butterflies with iridescent colors. The three most important subfamilies are the Hairstreaks (Theclinae), Coppers (Lycaeninae), and Blues (Polyommotinae). Butterflies in this family often visit composite flowers (Asteraceae) and small wildflowers from other families. Theclinae (Hairstreaks): These butterflies are silvery grey with rows of red or blue dots on the wing undersides, while the uppersides (exposed when the wings are outstretched) are a drab gray, brown, or black. Sometimes there is a small tail on each hindwing. The caterpillars feed on various trees and shrubs, including willows, wild cherries, hawthorns, oaks, hickories, and sumac. The species Strymon melinus (Gray Hairstreak), also feeds on some herbaceous plants, such as Mallows and Smartweeds. Lycaeninae (Coppers): These butterflies are orange and silvery gray with scattered black dots on the wing undersides. The uppersides have vivid orange and black patterns, although they are sometimes greyish or purplish in overall appearance. The larvae feed primarily on Rumex spp. (Dock) and Polygonum spp. (Smartweed and Knotweed). Polyommotinae (Blues): The Blues are silvery grey, or blue on the wing undersides, with rows of black dots and a patch of orange on the hindwings. The wing uppersides are silvery blue with white or black edges. Some species have small tails on the hind wings, and females are sometimes gray on the uppersides. 9
  • 10. The caterpillars of Blues usually feed on legumes, although the caterpillars of Celastrina argiolus (Spring/Summer Azure) feed on various small trees and shrubs, including Dogwood, Wild Cherry, Sumac, New Jersey Tea, and Viburnum. The caterpillars of Blues often secrete a honey dew that attracts ants. Geographic distribution :- There are nearly 5,000 species in this family around the world, but most only live in the tropics. We only have about 145 in the United States, and 32 species in Michigan. Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); palearctic (Native ); oriental (Native ); ethiopian (Native ); neotropical (Native ); australian (Native ); antarctica (Native ); oceanic islands (Native ) Geographic Range: Nearctic, Palearctic, Oriental, Ethiopian, Neotropical, Australian, Oceanic Island Morphology : Physical Description This group of butterflies get their common names from their wings. Some groups have shiny blue on their wings, others are the color of copper. Some have very thin little "tails" on their wings that are called hairstreaks. Many are not so colorful, and have gray or brown wings with spots of black, white, or orange. They are usually small butterflies, with wingspans of 25 mm or less. Some species have males with reduced front legs like the Brushfoot family, but females always have all 6 legs for walking and standing. Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry Sexual Dimorphism: female larger; male more colorful Habitat : Adults in this family are usually found close to the food plants of the caterpillars. This usually means around forest edges, open fields, along streams, and other open but vegetated areas. 10
  • 11. Caterpillars in this family are found on their food plants, or in the company of ants.
 Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial
 Terrestrial Biomes: tundra ; taiga ; desert or dune ; chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ; mountains Wetlands: marsh ; swamp ; bog Food Habits learn more about this article Caterpillars in this family eat a wider variety of foods than other butterfly families. Some species eat leaves, but others specialize in flowers or fruit. One species is a predator! This is very rare in butterflies and moths. It feeds on Aphididae, and females lay their eggs near their insect prey. Some adults sip nectar, but many prefer tree sap or puddles. Life Cycle Development Like all Moths and Butterflies, this family has complete metamorphosis. See More Information on Butterflies and Moths for an explanation of this. Some species in this group spin cocoons, others don't but the pupae attach themselves to plant stems with silk. Different species overwinter in different stages, usually larvae or pupae, rarely eggs and never as adults. Development - After mating, females lay eggs one by one on the flowers, twigs or leaves of food plants. This group often has two generations a year, one that spends the winter as caterpillars or pupae and fly as adults in the spring, and a second that complete their life-cycle in the summer and fly as adults in the fall. Breeding season: May to October in Michigan.
 Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; sexual ; oviparous These butterflies don't care for their young.
 Parental Investment: no parental involvement 11
  • 12. Reproduction : After mating, females lay eggs one by one on the flowers, twigs or leaves of food plants. This group often has two generations a year, one that spends the winter as caterpillars or pupae and fly as adults in the spring, and a second that complete their life-cycle in the summer and fly as adults in the fall. Breeding season: May to October in Michigan.
 Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; sexual ; oviparous These butterflies don't care for their young.
 Parental Investment: no parental involvement Small fire falter large green underwing buterfly 12 Life cycle of Castalius rosimon
  • 13. REFERENCES :- 1. Naomi Pierce.E., Michael Braby,F., David Lohman, J., Douglas Rand ,B., Mark, A. 2004 The ecology and evolution of lycanidae 47(1):259-267 2. Antram, C.B. Butterflies of India 2002 A Mittal publication, New Delhi P: 98-105 3. WynterBlyth, M. A. Butterflies of the Indian Region 1957 By Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India P: 35-39 4. Lieut. Colonel C. T. Bingham The Fauna Of British India Butterflies. Vol I and VolII 1905 and 1907 P: 156-175 13