Scarce copper Lycaena virgaureae, photographed by Albert Vliegenthart.

Belongs within: Rhopalocera.
Contains: Polyommatini, Theclini, Eumaeini.

The Lycaenidae are a group of butterflies with often flattened larvae that are commonly associated with ants.

Characters (from Nielsen & Common 1991): Small to large; eyes often emarginate at base of antenna, or contiguous with antennal socket, often hairy; maxillary palps absent; labial palps ascending; epiphysis absent, fore leg in male somewhat reduced in most groups, normal in female, spurs 0-2-2, 0-1-1 or 0-0-0; fore wing often lacking one or two branches of R, 1A+2A sometimes forked; hind wing with Sc+R1 diverging from Rs near base, usually with two anal veins, margin often produced into one or more tails. Egg with diameter usually greater than height, or nearly spherical, often densely pitted or with projections. Larva usually onisciform, usually with retractile head, sometimes with dense short hairs; abdomen often with medial dorsal gland on segment 7 and pair of dorsolateral, eversible organs on 8; prolegs with median fleshy lobe, more or less interrupting the uni- to multiordinal row of crochets; frequently associated with ants. Pupa usually attached at anal end by central, silken girdle; sometimes lying loose, cremaster absent.

    |--Miletinae HH02
    |--Polyommatini HH02
    |--Liphyrini AV04 [Liphyrinae HH02]
    |    |--Liphyra AV04
    |    `--Euliphyra AV04
    |--Theclinae PP02
    |    |  i. s.: Deudorix PP02
    |    |           |--D. epijarbas PP02
    |    |           |    |--D. e. epijarbas PP02
    |    |           |    `--D. e. diovella PP02
    |    |           `--D. eryx I92
    |    |                |--D. e. eryx I92
    |    |                `--D. e. okinawana (Matsumura 1919) I92
    |    `--Theclini AV04
    |--Brephidiinae C82
    |    |--Brephidium C82
    |    `--Oraidium C82
    `--Lycaeninae J03
         |  i. s.: Iophanus J03
         |         Lycaena JP05
         |           |--L. boldenarum O81
         |           |--L. cnejus WM66
         |           |--L. elpis WM66
         |           |--L. iolas Ochsenheimer 1816 B08
         |           |--L. kandarpa WM66
         |           |--L. karsandra Moore 1865 WM66
         |           |--L. nisa Wallace & Moore 1866 WM66
         |           |--L. parrhasius WM66
         |           |--L. plinius WM66
         |           |--L. pluto WM66
         |           |--L. sangra Moore 1865 WM66
         |           |--L. varunana Moore 1865 WM66
         |           `--L. virgaureae (Linnaeus 1758) JP05
         `--Eumaeini J03

Lycaenidae incertae sedis:
  Antipodalycaena PPE03
  Leptotes cassius (Cramer 1775) FS54
  Hemiargus FS54
    |--H. gyas FS54
    |    |--H. g. gyas FS54
    |    `--H. g. zachaeina Butler 1870 FS54
    `--H. hanno (Stoll 1790) FS54
  Everes FS54
    |--E. comyntas Godart 1823 FS54
    `--E. lacturnus I92
         |--E. l. lacturnus I92
         `--E. l. kawaii Matsumura 1926 I92
  Lachnocnemini AV04
    |--Lachnocnema AV04
    `--Thestor AV04
  Aphnaeini AV04
    |--Aloeides AV04
    |--Aphnaeus AV04
    |--Axiocerses AV04
    |--Chloroselas AV04
    |--Chrysoritis AV04
    `--Cigaritis AV04
         |--C. massinissa Lucas 1849 E12
         `--C. siphax Lucas 1849 E12
  Chrysophanus T27
    |--C. boldenarum T27
    |--C. feredayi L27
    `--C. salustius L27
  Thecloxurina fassii GE05
  Arcas ducalis GE05
  Lithopsyche antiqua GE05
  Aquisextana irenaei GE05
  Curetis regula GE05
  Thereus GE05
  Feniseca tarquinius GE05
  Hypochrysops NS04
    |--H. cyane NS04
    |--H. ignitus NS04
    `--H. piceatus NS04
  Cupido minimus (Fuessly 1775) JP05
  Magnastigma Nicolay 1977 BF08
    `--*M. tegula (Hewitson 1868) [=Thecla tegula] BF08
  Agrodiaetus F05
    |--A. damocles AV04
    |    |--A. d. damocles AV04
    |    `--A. d. rossicus AV04
    `--A. fabressei F05
         |--A. f. fabressei F05
         `--A. f. subbaeticus Gil-T. & Gil-Uceda 2005 F05
  Zizeeria maha TYM08
    |--Z. m. maha TYM08
    `--Z. m. kashikurai Nakamura 1930 TYM08

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AV04] Als, T. D., R. Vila, N. P. Kandul, D. R. Nash, S.-H. Yen, Y.-F. Hsu, A. A. Mignault, J. J. Boomsma & N. E. Pierce. 2004. The evolution of alternative parasitic life histories in large blue butterflies. Nature 432: 386-390.

[B08] Bálint, Z. 2008. Lepidoptera collections of historical importance in the Hungarian Natural History Museum. Annales Historico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 100 (17-35).

[BF08] Bálint, Z. & C. Faynel. 2008. Review of the genus Brangas Hübner, 1819 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) with description of a new genus. Annales Historico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 100: 271-306.

[C82] Craw, R. C. 1982. Phylogenetics, areas, geology and the biogeography of Croizat: a radical view. Systematic Zoology 31 (3): 304-316.

[E12] Evenhuis, N. L. 2012. Publication and dating of the Exploration Scientifique de l'Algérie: Histoire Naturelle des Animaux Articulés (1846–1849) by Pierre Hippolyte Lucas. Zootaxa 3448: 1–61.

[F05] Fernández, J. 2005. Noticia de nuevos táxones para la ciencia en el ámbito Íbero-Balear y Macaronésico. Nuevos táxones animales descritos en la península Ibérica y Macaronesia desde 1994 (IX). Graellsia 61 (2): 261-282.

[FS54] Franz, E., & H. Schröder. 1954. Tagfalter (Lep. Rhopalocera) aus El Salvador. Senckenbergiana Biologica 35: 75-87.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[HH02] Hall, J. P. W., & D. J. Harvey. 2002. Basal subtribes of the Nymphidiini (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae): Phylogeny and myrmecophily. Cladistics 18: 539-569.

[I92] Iwahashi, J. (ed.) 1992. Reddo Deeta Animaruzu: a pictorial of Japanese fauna facing extinction. JICC: Tokyo.

[J03] Jong, R. de. 2003. Are there butterflies with Gondwanan ancestry in the Australian region? Invertebrate Systematics 17: 143-156.

[JP05] Jungmann, E., & U. Poller. 2005. Neunachweise und Wiederfunde für die Schmetterlingsfauna (Insecta; Lepidoptera) des Altenburger Landes. Mauritiana 19 (2): 317-326.

[L27] Lindsay, S. 1927. A list of the Lepidoptera of Deans Bush, Riccarton, Canterbury. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 693-696.

[NS04] New, T. R., & D. P. A. Sands. 2004. Management of threatened insect species in Australia, with particular reference to butterflies. Australian Journal of Entomology 43 (3): 258-270.

Nielsen, E. S., & I. F. B. Common. 1991. Lepidoptera. In: CSIRO. The Insects of Australia, 2nd ed., vol. 2, pp. 817-915. Melbourne University Press.

[O81] O'Brien, C. O. 1981. A. A. Book of New Zealand Wildlife: A guide to the native and introduced animals of New Zealand. Lansdowne Press: Auckland.

[PP02] Patrick, B., & H. Patrick. 2002. Butterflies of Fiji. Weta 24: 5-12.

[PPE03] Patrick, B., H. Patrick & E. Edwards. 2003. Tiger moths and pheromones. Weta 25: 14-17.

[TYM08] Tennent, W. J., M. Yasuda & K. Morimoto. 2008. Lansania Journal of arachnology and zoology – a rare and obscure Japanese natural history journal. Archives of Natural History 35 (2): 252-280.

[T27] Thomson, G. M. 1927. The pollination of New Zealand flowers by birds and insects. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 106-125.

[WM66] Wallace, A. R., & F. Moore. 1866. List of lepidopterous insects collected at Takow, Formosa, by Mr. R. Swinhoe. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 355-365.

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