Gossamer-winged Butterflies

This photo album comprises a single gallery that features Gossamer-winged butterflies belonging to Lycaenidae (Butterflies and Moths) placed in the superfamily Papilionoidea part of Lepidoptera (Butterflies, Moths). I photographed the displayed species in their natural habitat. See Taxonomy note below.

Gossamer-winged Butterflies

Gossamer-winged Butterfly Notes

This family consists of small to medium-sized butterflies that are often brightly coloured or iridescent. They have three pairs of functional legs, although the first pair is often smaller. Their antennae and eyes, and sometimes their legs, are usually ringed with white. They have a worldwide distribution, mainly in tropical and subtropical. I photographed the displayed species in a temperate region of France and tropical Singapore. Dimorphism is widespread, and the three images of blues (Polyommatinae) show both individual males and females. Habitat includes forest edges, grassland, streams and other vegetated areas. Adults often found near food plants of caterpillars.

Gossamer-winged Butterfly Taxonomy

The estimate for described butterfly species is between 17,000 to 19,000, and fossil records place them in the Cretaceous period. Gossamer-winged butterflies are a large group with around 6,000 species and are probably the oldest family featured in the photo album.

The Insects Photo Album webpage describes the higher-level taxonomy for the featured gossamer-winged (Lycaenidae) butterfly family placed in the Papilionoidea part of Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths).

There are four subfamilies, images of species from two features in the gallery:
(a) Subfamily Polyommatinae (Blues),
(b) Subfamily Lycaeninae (Coppers).