N A T U R K U N D L I C H E S   I N F O R M A T I O N S S Y S T E M

Lycaena phlaeas phlaeas (Linné, 1761)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Papilio phlaeas Linnaeus, 1761: 285.
Type locality: Westmanniae (Vaestmanland, Sweden)
Type: not designated

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
aestivus Zeller, 1847, Isis von Oken 1847 (1): 39
caeruleopunctata Krulikovskii, 1893, Soc. ent 7: 164
eleus Fabricius, 1798, Ent. Syst. Suppl.: 430
timeus Cramer, 1777, Uitl. Kap 2 (16): 137
turcicus Gerhard, 1853, Vers. monog. europ. Schmett.: 5

Small copper, Small sorrel copper
Le Cuivré commun, Le Bronzé
eigentlicher Kleiner Feuerfalter
Argo bronzato
Manto bicolor

Habit:

f. albicans f. eleus underside
Picture from: Seitz 1909
Detailed view
Picture from: Seitz 1909
Detailed view
Picture from: Seitz 1909
Detailed view
Picture from: Seitz 1909
Detailed view

Variability: The sexual dichroism is comparatively small. Animals in summer are normally more darkened on the upperside, the tail on the hindwing is longer (gen. aest. aestiva Z., as well as f. elea Fabricius). F. suffusa Tutt characterizes animals with extreme darkening. Sometimes, on the hind wing upperside, tiny blue spots are developed proximally to the red submarginal band. Such animals are called f. caeruleopunctata Rühl.

Distribution:

The typical subspecies is distributed from the Canary islands and Northern Africa throughout Europe and Turkey to central Asia. Here it reaches its highest altitude with over 3700 m, (in Europe 2400 m, in northern Africa 2700 m following Tolman & Lewington 1998).

Biology:

Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Spain, Malaga, Nerja, Maro, Barranco Sanguino, 2007.07.27
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: www.flickr.com: © Peter Greenwoods
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

The species is relativley euryoecious and inhabits open areas with many blossomimg flowers. It has been found on wet meadows as well as on dry wasteland, on way margins and even on sandy places (Kurz & Kurz 2016). On the Canary islands, the animales fly throughout the year in several overlapping generations. In Europe, depending on the geographical latitude, 2-3 generations may be found from (February) May till September (October) (Tolman & Lewington 1998).

Stages in development:

Description of early stages following Forster & Wohlfart (1976):

Egg. The egg is semiglobular and grey-green and shows several deepened pentagons and hexagons with whitish coloured borders.

Larva. The larva is variable green with yellow, reddish or brownish dorsal line and reddish-brown head. It overwinters as early instar (sometimes also in the egg) and feeds on various species of Rumex. On dry places, Polygonum is said to be utilized too.

Pupa. The pupa is yellowish-brown with black dots. The veins on the sheaths of the wings are somwhat darker.

Diagnosis:

By its small size, the comparatively low number of black dots on the forewing upperside, the unmarked hindwings (except for the red submarginal band) and the shor tail on Cu2 of the hindwing, the species is well charcterized in Europe and unmistakeable. Subspecies polaris Courvoisier, 1911 from arctic Fennoscandia is distinguished from the nominate form by the grey (not grey-brwon) colouration of the hindwing underside and contrasting big black dots on the forewing underside. Subspecies phlaeoides (Staudinger, 1901) from Madeira has a more contrasting hindwing underside, although in grey-brown like in the nominate form. In ssp. shima Gabriel, 1954 from SW Arabia and Yemen, the hindwing underside is orange without markings, whereas ssp. chinensis Felder, 1862 is bigger as the nominate form and shows similar markings on the hindwing underside on a more orange ground colour. The African subspecies abottii (Holland, 1892), ethiopica (Poulton, 1922) and pseudophlaeas (Lucas, 1866) might eventually combined with shima to a distinct species. They have the hindwing upperside orange to a large amount, whereas the hindwing underside is orange-grey.

Genetics:

Chromosome number (haploid): 24 (Higgins, 1975)

Worth knowing:

Sources:

Higgins, L. 1975. The Classification of European Butterflies, Collins, London
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2016. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 19 September 2016].
Linnaeus, C. (1761): Fauna Suecica (2.Ausgabe), 578 pp. Stockholm
Tolman T. & R. Lewington (1998): Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, übersetzt von M. Nuß, Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co., Stuttgart

Publication data:

history:
Kurz Michael: 2010.04.04
Kurz Michael: 2011.03.02
Kurz Michael: 2016.09.19
Kurz Michael: 2016.09.20
Kurz Michael: 2016.09.21
not reviewed

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