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Hairstreaks and Blue Butterflies

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Chapter Summary

Lycaenidae is a large, worldwide family of small butterflies with over six thousand described species. This is about one-third of the total of all known butterflies. Ten species have been recorded from the Cayman Islands, and these represent the two major subfamilies, Theclinae (Hairstreaks) and Polyommatinae (Blues). Blue Butterfly larvae are frequently attended by ants in a symbiotic relationship in which the caterpillar receives some protection from arthropod predators and probably parasitic wasps, and the ant in return receives a sweet, sugary secretion from glands on the caterpillar. This chapter discusses different types of hairstreaks and blue butterflies (Lycaenidae) such as Atala Hairstreak, Cuban Grey Hairstreak, Drury's Hairstreak, and Dotted Hairstreak. For each type, it provides information on recognition, subspecies, species' range, Cayman Islands distribution, habitat, history and biology. The chapter also talks about other types of butterflies such as Fulvous Hairstreak, Pygmy Blue, Cassius Blue, and Lucas's Blue.

Keywords: blue butterflies; Cayman Islands; hairstreaks butterflies; Lycaenidae

10.1163/9789004260870_006
/content/books/b9789004260870s006
dcterms_subject,pub_keyword
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