Monday, February 25, 2013

Duke of Burgundy

Hamearis lucina
The Duke of Burgundy is a small Butterfly that has a checkered orange-brown pattern on its wings. They belong to a subfamily known as the "Metalmarks," due to the metallic sheen found on their wings. Interestingly though, the Duke of Burgundy is the only member of that group to be found in Europe.

These Butterflies have a range that spreads from Spain to the Balkans, and they are also found in Great Britain. They live in both grasslands and in forested areas.

Though they look very much alike, you can distinguish between the males and females of this species by their behavior. Males are incredibly territorial, and will lash out at other males that enter their small range. Females are more relaxed, and do not stick to a set home area. They will often wander, which is how colonies are able to pop up far from existing ones.

As Caterpillars, these insects feed on Oxslip, Cowslip, and Primrose-- plants that their eggs are laid on. They remain in that phase for only a few weeks before beginning their final transformation, and will actually remain in the pupa for as long as 9 months!

Adult Duke of Burgundy Butterflies do have the mouth-parts needed to feed, unlike some other Butterfly species. They consume various types of nectar.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Europe
Size : Wingspan up to 1.2in (30mm)
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Class : Insecta -- Order : Lepidoptera
Family : Riodinidae -- Genus : Hamearis -- Species : H. lucina
Image : Mnolf

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