Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera

DELTA home

L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Ericynidae, Lemoniidae, Libytheidae, Nemeobiidae.

Adults diurnal; medium sized; relatively short-bodied; medium built (wingspan more than 8 and less than 15 times the thoracic width); wings in repose apposed vertically over the back.

Head rough. Antennae of medium length; extending to about 0.48–0.52 times the length of the forewing; inserted markedly less than one half the width of the head apart; clubbed. The club abruptly terminal (and flattened). Antennae of males simple; non-ciliate. Eyes notched or emarginate at the bases of the antennae and contiguous with the bases of the antennal sockets (and white-rimmed); hairy. Ocelli absent. Chaetosemata present. Maxillary palps much reduced. Labial palps porrect; 3 segmented. Proboscis fully developed; not scaly.

Wingspan 29–34 mm; 11–13 times the thoracic width. Forewings broad; 1.5–1.8 times as long as wide. The outer and hind margins angled at about 95–100 degrees. The outer margin convexly curved; forewings apically blunt; ground colour predominantly light brown, or dark brown, or orange-brown (tawny or dusky, depending on which component is regarded as ground-colour); forewings without eye-spots above. Hindwings broadly rounded; similar in breadth to the forewings; the upper surfaces conspicuously patterned above (chequered, like the forewings); with the conventional lepidopterous lines and discal marks lacking or more or less obscured; without a frenulum.

Neuration of forewings and hindwings dissimilar. Forewings 12 veined; with 1 anal vein. The anal veins of the forewings representing 1b only. Forewings lacking a tubular vein 1c. Vein 1b of the forewings furcate proximally. Discal cell of the forewings without a tubular media (M) vein. Forewing veins 8 and 9 out of 7. Hindwings 9 veined; with 2 anal veins. The anal veins of the hindwings comprising 1a and 1b. Hindwings exhibiting vein 1a; lacking a tubular vein 1c; with a praecostal spur. The hindwing cell emitting more than six veins. 7 veins arising from the hindwing cell. The cell-derived hindwing veins 3+4 proximally joined and 6+7 proximally joined (connate only). Vein 8 of the hindwings arising from the upper margin of the cell (from near its base); not approximating to vein 7.

Adults having only 4 fully developed legs (in the male only), or having all 6 legs fully developed and operational for walking. Fore-legs of female operational for walking. Fore-legs without a tibial epiphysis. Tibiae of middle legs 2-spurred. Posterior tibiae without spurs.

Tympanal organs absent.

Eggs, larvae and pupae. Eggs not flattened (barrel-shaped); smooth or minutely pitted. Larval prolegs 10. Larvae conspicuously, densely long-hairy to not densely long-hairy (with hair tufts; woodlouse-shaped like Lycaenidae, but having no known association with ants); exposed feeders. On Primula.

Pupae smooth and rounded (rounded); conspicuously patterned; without shining-metallic spots; exposed, with no coccoon; not suspended, but attached at the tail and secured by a median girdle of silk.

British representation. Genera 1; 1 species. Hamearis lucina (Duke of Burgundy Fritillary).

Classification. Butterflies. Suborder Ditrysia. Superfamily Papilionoidea.

Illustrations. • Hamearis lucina (Duke-of-Burgundy Fritillary: B. Ent. 316). • Hamearis lucina (legend+text: B. Ent. 316). • Hamearis lucina: B. Ent. 316, text cont.. • Hamearis lucina: Newman. Hamearis lucina (Duke-of-Burgundy Fritillary). From Newman, 1871.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera. Version: 8th June 2016.’.