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Lycaena virgaurea (female)

Lycaena virgaurea (female)
Photo Information
Copyright: Roberto Innocenzi (cobra112) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2093 W: 75 N: 6382] (43366)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2014-08-01
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D300s, Sigma 105mm 1:2.8 EX DG Macro
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2014-09-07 10:44
Viewed: 1945
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Subphylum: Hexapoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera


Superfamily: Papilionoidea

The Lycaenidae are the second-largest family of butterflies, with about 6000 species worldwide, whose members are also called gossamer-winged butterflies. They constitute about 40% of the known butterfly species.The family is traditionally divided into the subfamilies of the blues (Polyommatinae), the coppers (Lycaeninae), the hairstreaks (Theclinae) and the harvesters (Miletinae); others include the Lipteninae, Liphyrinae, Curetinae and Poritiinae. A few authorities still include the family Riodinidae within the Lycaenidae. The monotypic former subfamily Styginae represented by Styx infernalis from the Peruvian Andes has been placed within the subfamily Euselasiinae] of the family Riodinidae.Adults are small, under 5 cm usually, and brightly coloured, sometimes with a metallic gloss. The male's forelegs are reduced in size and lack claws. Larvae are often flattened rather than cylindrical, with glands that may produce secretions that attract and subdue ants. Their cuticles tend to be thickened. Some larva are capable of producing vibrations and low sounds that are transmitted through the substrates they inhabit. They use these sounds to communicate with ants. Adult individuals often have hairy antenna-like tails complete with black and white annulated appearance. Many species also have a spot at the base of the tail and some turn around upon landing to confuse potential predators from recognizing the true head orientation. This causes predators to approach from the true head end resulting in early visual detection. Lycaenids are diverse in their food habits and apart from phytophagy, some of them are entomophagous feeding on aphids, scale insects and ant larvae. Some Lycaenids even exploit their association with ants by inducing ants to feed them by regurgitation, a process called trophallaxis. Not all Lycaenid butterflies need ants, but about 75% of species associate with ants.[5] The term used to describe such ant association is myrmecophily. These associations can be mutualistic, parasitic or predatory, depending on the species. In some species, larvae are attended and protected by ants while feeding on the host plant, and the ants receive sugar-rich honeydew from them, throughout the larval life. In other species, only the first few instars are spent on the plant, and the remainder of the larval lifespan is spent as a predator within the ant nest. It becomes a parasite, feeding on ant regurgitations, or a predator on the ant larvae. The caterpillars pupate inside the ant's nest and the ants continue to look after the pupa. Just before the adult emerges the wings of the butterfly inside the pupal case detach from it, and the pupa becomes silvery. The adult butterfly emerges from the pupa after 3–4 weeks, still inside the ant nest. The butterfly must crawl out of the ant nest before it can expand its wings. Several evolutionary adaptations enable these associations and they include small glands on the skin of the caterpillars called pore cupola organs. Caterpillars of many species except those of the Riodininae have a gland on the 7th abdominal segment that produces honey dew and is called the dorsal nectary gland (also called Newcomer's gland). An eversible organ called the tentacular organ is present on the 8th abdominal segment (third segment of thorax in the Riodininae) and this is cylindrical and topped with a ring of spikes and emits chemical signals which are believed to help in communicating with ants. As many as 30% of world's threatened butterflies are lycaenid.

I Lycaenidae (LEACH, 1815) sono un'ampia famiglia di Lepidotteri che comprende circa il 40 % di tutte le specie di Ropaloceri conosciute. Le specie appartenenti a questa famiglia si nutrono con vari tipi di cibo, incluse felci, conifere, funghi, licheni, cycas, e larve di formica

Lycaena virgaurea
Distribuzione: alpi e appennini.

Habitat: prati e radure del piano montano e cacuminale, da 700 sino a circa 2100 metri s.l.m.

Generazioni annuali: una con sfarfallamento in luglio-agosto.

Piante nutrici: Rumex crispus, Rumex acetosa, Rumex acetosella.

NikosR, Hotelcalifornia has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • NikosR Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 3 N: 447] (3436)
  • [2014-09-07 10:53]

Ciao Roberto

Perfect image of this beautiful lycaenid, excellent clarity, splendid sharpness, fine details either two antenae, very nice bokeh, beautiful vivid natural colors, nice composition



  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2014-09-07 11:02]

Ciao Roberto,
What a fantastic macro! Light, clarity and colours are really splendid. And that all in good sharpness and details. Excellent DOF with a nice blurry background.

Hello Roberto- Beautiful coloured butterfly. Very well captured with splendid details and sharpness. Like BG too. Nice POV. Thanks for sharing. Regards- Srikumar

Ciao Roberto, gran bella femmina, fantastici colori brillanti, ottimi dettagli e splendida nitidezza, bravissimo, ciao Silvio

Ciao Roby, my neighbour in the gallery today,
Even the closest parts of the wings aren't the sharpest, a spectacular pic with perfect color saturation and background blur. Sharpness on and around the body is excellent, and the rulebreaking central composition also works well here. Good photo overall, I like it.
Best regards, László

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2014-09-07 12:25]

Ciao Roby,mi ricorda la posizione della Phlaes che non apre mai le ali completamente e ti verrebbe voglia di stirarla..ehehe..ma la specie č sensazionale,e che cattura,colori brillantissimi e dettagli al top,salvo nel solito posto dovuto alle ali a V.Buona settimana,Luciano

hallo Roberto
very nice picture with good details and beautiful colours
thanks gr lou

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2014-09-15 10:01]

Hi Roberto,
Amazing colours and excellent sharpness details.
Regards Jiri.

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