Butterfly - Gossamer-wing Family (Lycaenidae)

(Micandra aegides)
Butterfly - Gossamer-wing Family (Lycaenidae)

There are approximately 4,700 species in this family, and they are distributed around the world. 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. 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 single, sea 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.

  • (Micandra aegides)

    (Micandra aegides)

  •  (Tongeia hainani)

    (Tongeia hainani)

  • Blue Spot Hairstreak (Satyrium spini)

    Blue Spot Hairstreak (Satyrium spini)

  • Purple Shot Copper (Heodes alciphron)

    Purple Shot Copper (Heodes alciphron)

  • Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

    Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

  • Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

    Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

  • Greenish Blue (Plebejus saepiolus)

    Greenish Blue (Plebejus saepiolus)

  • Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

    Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

  • Colorado Hairstreak (Hypaurotis crysalus)

    Colorado Hairstreak (Hypaurotis crysalus)

  • American/Little Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

    American/Little Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

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