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Official Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa
2015, Metamorphosis Volume 26: 97 - 101
Publication Date : 2015-12-20
Author/s : Alan Heath and Jürgen F. Zielske

Title :

Preliminary observations on the life history and behaviour of the enigmatic lycaenid ‘Warrior Silver-spotted Copper’ Argyraspodes argyraspis (Trimen, 1873), with detailed descriptions and illustrations of the egg and first instar larva

Abstract :

The egg and first instar larva of Argyraspodes argyraspis are described and illustrated in detail for the first time, together with observations on ovipositing behaviour. Morphological characteristics of the egg and first instar larva are discussed and comparisons are drawn between the early stages of this butterfly and those of Trimenia Tite & Dickson, to which it is known to be similar. Indications inferred from larval morphology and behaviour suggest that it has an aphytophagous life history and may be a predator of ant brood or Hemiptera during early instars. Strong, albeit circumstantial evidence is presented that it has an obligate association with the Brown Cocktail Ant (Crematogaster melanogaster Emery), but that this interaction is unlikely to be mutualistic initially. Further research into this butterfly is proposed; also into whether it is a pollinator of Bokhoring (Microloma sagittatum).

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Keywords:

Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae, Aphnaeinae, Crematogaster melanogaster, oviposit, cocktail ants, life history, aphytophagous, mutualistic, obligate, myrmecophily, predator, pollinator, Microloma sagittatum

Citation :

COPYRIGHT NOTICE : Copyright © Lepidopterists' Society of Africa

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