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Official Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa
2016, Metamorphosis Volume 27 Articles: 82 - 89
Publication Date : 2016-12-21
Author/s : Alan Heath and C.W. Stewart Fisher

Title :

Life history observations of the myrmecophilous lycaenid butterfly Argyraspodes argyraspis (Trimen, 1873) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae: Aphnaeinae), with notes on ant behaviours and interactions and comparisons with allied species

Abstract :

Life history observations of this herbivorous and myrmecophilous butterfly are described and illustrated here, together with notes on its mutualistic ant symbionts Crematogaster melanogaster Emery and host-plant Hermannia (Malvaceae) species. It was noted that the female oviposited on dead plant material or on the sandy substrate some distance from its host plant. A tentative explanation given for this is that the eggs might otherwise suffer predation by ants nesting beneath the host-plant. A structural and colour similarity exists between the larvae of Argyraspodes Tite & Dickson and larvae of Trimenia Tite & Dickson, Aloeides Hübner and Erikssonia Trimen. This corresponds well with the monophyletic clade of Argyraspodes, Aloeides, Erikssonia and Trimenia as presented by Boyle et al. (2014).

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Keywords:

Crematogaster melanogaster, Hermannia, Trimenia, Aloeides, Microloma, herbivorous, mutualistic, aphytophagous, monophyletic, DNO (Dorsal Nectary Organ), honeydew, instar, brood, satellite ant nest, clad

Citation :

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