Evolution and Systematics
Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships
Sections of Eumaeini are based on the classification of Robbins (2004). Many of the species, particularly the neotropical ones, were originally described in the catch-all genus Thecla, which is now restricted to a genus of just two Palearctic species in a separate tribe.
Lamasina is a genus of gossamer-winged butterflies (family Lycaenidae); the validity of its name is subject to dispute. Among its family, these sexually dimorphic Lepidoptera belong to the tribe Eumaeini of the subfamily Theclinae. Lamasina species are found mainly in northern South America, approximately to the Guyanas. L. draudti is also found in Central America south of the Yucatán Peninsula. In the Andes, the genus extends somewhat further south; L. rhaptissima almost reaches Bolivia.
- See also Glossary of Lepidopteran terms.
They show some similarity to Evenus (probably a close relative) and Paiwarria (probably a slightly more distinct member of the Eumaeini). But whether Lamasina is in fact a close relative of the former is not thoroughly studied. The upperwings of Lamasina males and females are bluish, with broad black margins which are broader in females. The underwings are greenish to brown, with a striped or mottled pattern that distinguishes males from females. In some, the males have blue forewing undersides also.
Lamasina has a fairly short forewing cell, measuring less than one-half of the costal length and in males only about one-third. In some Lamasina males, androconia ("perfume" scales) form a characteristic orange or darkened patch on the dorsal forewing. There is a lobed tail at the hindwing tomus in some species. Together with the structure of the genitalia, members of this genus can thus be unequivocally recognized by this combination of characters, though most of these features are also found in other Eumaeini.
The genus used to be known as Eucharia, established by Boisduval in 1870, but that name had earlier been proposed for a genus of arctiid moths already. The first attempt to establish a replacement name may have failed on technical grounds; the name chosen, Annamaria, was subsequently argued to be a nomen nudum per Article 13.1 of the ICZN Code, because an appropriate genus description was not given. Lamasina was validly established in 2002, but if "Annamaria" is valid after all, Lamasina is its junior synonym. The matter has been submitted to the ICZN for discussion.
3-5 species are currently accepted as valid. While L. saphonota might not belong into this genus (it was placed variously in Brevianta and Denivia in the past), L. ganimedes and L. rhaptissima might be cryptic species complexes.
- Lamasina columbia (Bálint, 2005) (may belong in L. rhaptissima)
- Lamasina draudti (Lathy, 1926)
- Lamasina ganimedes (Cramer, 1775) (often misspelt ganymedes, including L. lathyi)
- Lamasina rhaptissima (K.Johnson, 1991) (including L. rhapsodia)
- Lamasina saphonota (Constantino, Salazar & K.Johnson, 1993) (tentatively placed here)
- See references in Savela (2011)
- Robbins & Lamas (2008), and see references in Savela (2011)
- Robbins & Lamas (2008)
- Brower (2008), Robbins & Lamas (2008), and see references in Savela (2011)
- Brower, Andrew V.Z. (2008): Tree of Life Web Project – Lamasina. Version of 2008-MAR-24. Retrieved 2008-NOV-12.
- Robbins, Robert K. & Lamas, Gerardo (2008): Nomenclature, variation, and the biological species concept in Lamasina (Lycaenidae: Theclinae: Eumaeini) [English with Portuguese abstract]. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 25(1): 116–127. doi:10.1590/S0101-81752008000100016 PDF fulltext
- Savela, Markku (2011): Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and some other life forms – Lamasina. Version of 2011-DEC-24. Retrieved 2012-MAR-31.
As not all Theclinae have been assigned to tribes, the genus list is preliminary. However, much progress has been made in sorting out the profusion of synonymous taxa, and at least some degree of stability has been achieved in the early years of the 21st century. While there is no good phylogenetic hypothesis yet for the subfamily, groups of at least apparently related genera have been delimited. They are sometimes called "sections", but do not correspond to the taxonomic rank of section (the section in which the gossamer-winged butterflies are placed is the Cossina); if validated as clades and assigned taxonomic rank, they would qualify as subtribes.
There is still much work to be done, including the splitting of such notorious "wastebin taxa" as Callophrys, and the establishment of a robust phylogenetic and evolutionary scenario. Pending this, the groups are listed here in the presumed phylogenetic sequence, while genera are simply sorted alphabetically.
- See Brower (2008) and the references in Savela (2008)
- Possibly a nomen nudum
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- Brower, Andrew V.Z. (2008): Tree of Life Web Project – Eumaeini. Version of 2008-APR-24. Retrieved 2008-NOV-11.
- Savela, Markku (2008): Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and some other life forms: Theclinae. Version of 2008-SEP-05. Retrieved 2008-NOV-11.
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San Bruno elfin butterfly
The San Bruno elfin butterfly (Callophrys mossii bayensis or Incisalia mossii bayensis) is a U.S. Federally listed endangered subspecies that inhabits rocky outcrops and cliffs in coastal scrub on the San Francisco peninsula, endemic to this habitat in California. Its patchy distribution reflects that of its host plant, Broadleaf Stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium).
Adults of this butterfly emerge in early spring, in February and March, when nectar providing flowers open. After mating the female locates host plants on which to deposit the eggs, which hatch within a week. The tiny larvae first feed on the plant's vegetative structures; however, when the stonecrop's flowers begin to open, the larvae migrate upward and feed on the flowers themselves. By June most have completed their larval development at which time they evacuate from the host plant to pupate in ground litter. They lie dormant as pupae until the following spring, when the life cycle begins anew.
The San Bruno elfin butterfly's life cycle holds an interesting aspect, common to many other lycaenids regarding a symbiotic interaction with ants. Elfin larvae excrete a sweet liquid known as honeydew which attracts ants. In exchange for honeydew, the ants often provide protection from harm by predators and parasites, principal mortality causes in most foliage feeding insects.
Range and habitat
The San Bruno elfin is restricted to a few small populations, the largest of which occurs on San Bruno Mountain. Most of these areas, akin to the distribution of the host plant, are scattered on rocky slopes and ledges, especially east facing (McClintock, 1968). One of these niches is in the vicinity of the old quarry. Its habitat has been diminished in the past by quarrying, off-road recreational vehicles, and urban development as land development pressure on the San Francisco peninsula continues to fester. To protect the rare San Bruno elfin butterfly as well as the Mission Blue Butterfly a unique habitat management plan has been implemented on San Bruno Mountain, in which the lower slopes were opened for development while the higher areas were converted to public ownership as critical habitat. This strategy arose as a compromise result of years of conflict between land developers and conservationists regarding this unique piece of real estate, jointly prized for its outstanding habitat features and its economically valuable location.
Current management on San Bruno Mountain and in other areas focuses on reduced pesticide use, careful recreation management, and vegetation management. Several areas from which populations had been previously extirpated are also being targeted for revegetation and reintroduction of the butterfly.
Another population of San Bruno elfin butterfly is known to be established in Montara, on coastal bluffs about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of San Bruno Mountain (Alling, 1986). This colony is near the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. A third colony is found near Rockaway Beach, California in Pacifica.
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- Brown, R.M., Larva and habitat of Callophrys fotis bayensis Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 8: 49-50 (1969)
- Curtis E. Alling, Michael Hogan, Lynn Alexander et al., Environmental Impact Report for the West Rockaway Beach Redevelopment Plan prepared for the city of Pacifica, Earth Metrics Incorporated, SCH #85127017, March, 1986
- Elizabeth McClintock and Walter Knight, A Flora of the San Bruno Mountains, San Mateo County, California, Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, Fourth Series, Volume XXXII, no. 20, pp. 587-677, November 29, 1968
- Emmel, J.F. and C.D. Ferris, The biology of Callophrys (Incisalia) fotis bayensis (Lycaenidae) Journal of the Lepidopterist's Society 26 (4): 237-244 (1972)
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