Overview

Brief Summary

Introduction

The hairstreaks are an extremely diverse lycaenid subfamily, well-represented in all regions and particularly in the tropics. Many species possess "tails" on the apices of the hindwings that authors have hypothesized act as a false head, distracting the attention of predators away from the more vital body parts (see Robbins, 1980, 1981).

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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships

View Theclinae Tree

The hypothesis of relationships among tribes is based on Eliot's (1973) intuitive phylogeny. Note that Eliot viewed Theclinae as a subfamily at that point (he demoted the group to a tribe in Corbet et al. 1992). According to R. K. Robbins (pers. comm., 2008), Eliot's 1992 reduction in rank of the hairstreaks, blues and coppers has not been adopted by most lycaenid researchers, and so these taxa are here ranked as a clade of subfamilies.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records: 5481
Specimens with Sequences: 4795
Specimens with Barcodes: 4423
Species: 1045
Species With Barcodes: 938
Public Records: 1559
Public Species: 363
Public BINs: 258
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Barcode data

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Wikipedia

Theclinae

Subfamily Theclinae is a group of butterflies, including the hairstreaks, elfins and allies, in the family Lycaenidae. There are many tropical species as well as a number found in the Americas. Tropical hairstreaks often have iridescent blue coloration above, caused by reflected light from the structure of the wing scales rather than by pigment. Hairstreaks from North America are commonly brown above. Few Theclinae are migratory.

Systematics[edit]

The systematics and phylogeny of the numerous Theclinae has not reached a robust consensus yet. The arrangement presented here is based on Savela (2007), but be aware that it is probably oversplit and several tribes may not be valid. Nonetheless, the tribes as listed here generally seem to represent monophyletic lineages, but whether this is indeed so and whether these are distinct enough to warrant this level of separation remains to be resolved.

Theclinae incertae sedis[edit]

The following genera have not yet been assigned to a tribe:

Museum drawer of West Palaearctic Theclinae

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Glassberg, Jeffrey Butterflies through Binoculars, The West (2001)
  • James, David G. and Nunnallee, David Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies (2011)
  • Pelham, Jonathan Catalogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada (2008)
  • Pyle, Robert Michael The Butterflies of Cascadia (2002)
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