Photographer's Note

Hamearis lucina Monte Fionchi - Spoleto (PG)
26 06 2018
Linnaeus 1758
Vulgar Name: Lucina
Family: Ryodinidae
Front wing length mm. 14-17
Description: It is a small butterfly, with wingspan 29 - 34, and is the only butterfly in Europe that belongs to the Riodinidae family. In the past, due to its characteristic livery, it was considered belonging to the Nymphalidae family, so that the English name Duke of Burgundy (Duke of Burgundy) is often accompanied by "Fritillary", which distinguishes some species of butterflies typical of this family. The back of the wings of this butterfly has a brown background color with a large number of orange spots, in this sense similar to some Nymphalidae, but if you can closely observe the arrangement is characteristic and easily recognizable. The reverse of the wings has a fawn background color, but with dark spots on the front and white on the back ones. The livery is completed by a uniformly squared fringe in which the background color brown alternates with white. Sexual diformism is fundamentally linked to the dimensions, which are larger in the female, which also has orange spots on the back and white ones on the backhand proportionately wider.
It is a quite common and locally common butterfly, limited to the Western Palearctic and is present in most of Europe, especially central, arriving in the North up to the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian peninsula and in the South to the Pyrenees in the Iberian Peninsula and the Balkans in Greece. . In some European countries it is included in the red lists for biodiversity conservation.
It prefers the rather thin meadows, the clearings and the margins of forest generally with good sun exposure, where there are the host plants that are preferably of the genus Primula (Primula veris, Primula vulgaris, Primula elatior). The males have territorial behaviors and strenuously defend with spectacular fighting small areas, while the females tend to move over short distances and sometimes they also form new colonies at a certain distance.
The eggs are laid on the underside of the host plants in small groups up to 8, but if the host plants are also growing on nearby vegetation. If the Primrose visited have a good vegetation even more than one female deposits eggs, which are semi-spherical with the flat base. The eggs are initially pale green and before they hatch they become purple. Eggs are indirectly preyed by snails eating Primroses. Depending on the climate the eggs hatch from one to three weeks.
The caterpillars are initially transparent with few hairs and eat at night, while during the day they are at the base of the plant. Before the first moult the caterpillar became pale green. The caterpillar is matured in four mutes, becoming brown with a dorsal stripe with black points and numerous hairs.
The caterpillars eat only the green part of the leaves and do not work if the temperature is below 11 degrees or the plant is wet. The pupa stage takes place on the ground or under thick grass and lasts for 9 months with high rates of predation by snails and topiragni

Male: orange color. Front wings with ribs and blackish transverse designs. Rear almost totally blackened of blackish except for some central area and a series of orange submarginal lunulae.

Female: similar to the male but generally lighter. Wings of a more rounded shape.

Reverse: reduced dark designs in the anterior, basal and postdiscal series of whitish spaces in the posterior.

Distribution: all of Italy, excluding Sardinia.

Habitat: sciafila species frequents the clearings of the woods from the basal to the mountain up to about 1600 meters s.l.m.
Annual generations: only one with flickering of adults in May-June A second partial generation in July-August in some regions of Northern Italy.

Nourishing plants: Primula vulgaris, Primula veris, Primula elatior.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 20090 W: 130 N: 42396] (223103)
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  • Date Taken: 2022-05-17
  • Exposure: f/0.9, 30
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  • Date Submitted: 2022-05-17 4:30
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Points: 34
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Additional Photos by Silvio Sorcini (Silvio1953) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 20090 W: 130 N: 42396] (223103)
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