Logo Phegea Butterflies in the Benelux
Frits Bink & Rosita Moenen 2015

Based on: Dagvlinders in de Benelux 2013
Revised and extended
Edited by Sylvain Cuvelier & Peter Russell

Vlaamse Vereniging voor Entomologie
VVE Werkgroep Dagvlinders

Flemish Entomological Society
VVE Workgroup Butterflies

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30. Hamearis lucina (Linnaeus, 1758) / Duke of Burgundy fritillary / Riodinidae – Riodininae

NL: sleutelbloemvlinder / D: Brauner Würfelfalter, Schlusselblumen-Würfelfalter, Perlbinde / F: lucine, faune à tache blanches

Photographs: Frits Bink ©.

Small, wing length 15 (14-16) mm. In the Benelux the species occurs in the south of Belgium and Luxemburg in warm places, mostly in thickets of hazel on the edges between wood or scrub and chalk grassland.

Adults are on the wing from early-May until early-June, the species occurs in mild-maritime climate to mild continental climate, amplitude 6 to 12, the required heat sum is 750°d and the tolerated one 1800°d, which corresponds with climate windows of 24 and 35 weeks.

This species belongs to the family Riodinidae and it is the only European representative, whereas in North-America there are twenty (Scott 1986: 348-355, the metalmarks) and in South-America several hundreds, with many of them with well-developed myrmecophilous organs; whereas H. lucina has no trace of them.

Ecological characteristics

Behaviour over time
Overwintering: pupa under withered leaf in litter layer.
oviposition starts after 2-3 days when the body contains 52 (50-40) eggs. Estimated potential production 1.3 as much.
Larval feeding periods:
4-5 weeks in the period end-May until early-August.
one, in southern Europe a partial second.
Spreading of risk:
not observed.
Life cycle:
egg 11 (8-14) days; larva 32 (25-45) days; pupa 43-46 weeks.
Life span of adult:
very short or short, 1-2 weeks.

Photographs: Frits Bink ©.

Behaviour in space
From stay-at-home to migrant: stay-at-home, spatial requirement modest.
Finding a mate:
male behaves territorially around its perch.
Orientation in the landscape:
between wood and open field.
eggs are laid in small batches of 3-12 on the underside of a mature leaf of the host-plant.

Threats from other organisms: larva hides and is nocturnal in the last stage.
Threats from the environment:
no sign of hardiness, so vulnerable to extremes.

Feeding habits
Adult: nectar of small flowers like bramble.
feeds on old leaves, hides during the day in the moss layer.

Larval foodplants
Plant species: Primulaceae: Primula elatior, P. veris, P. vulgaris.

Rearing experiment based on specimen from Nîsmes, Belgium:
28 May 1982: eggs collected (three females and eight males present).
4/5 June: eggs hatched.
20 June: larvae about 10 mm in length, some left the host plant.
27 June: all larvae in last instar, hid below the leaves in the moss layer.
25 July: four pupae.
26 December: one pupa hatched, female, dissected (see table 30.1).
Overwintered indoors.
17 April 1983: female just hatched, dissected (see table).
24 April: 2 females dissected (see table).

Table 30-1. Results of dissections

Table 30-2. Collection and observation localities

B, Nîsmes, (Tiènne-Breumont) 215 m, 50° 04’ 40”N – 4° 32’ 35”E; 28 May 1982.
D, Eschweiler 50° 47’ 09”N – 6° 16’ 37”E; 18 June 1983.
D, Lorch 300m, 50° 02’ 05”N – 7° 47’ 56”E; 26 May 1986.

Fig. 30-1. Hamearis lucina, phenogram adapted from Fichefet et al. 2008: 111.

Fig. 30-2. Hamearis lucina, habitat characteristics.

Fig. 30-3. Hamearis lucina, climate matrix, heat-sums 750 - 1800°d.

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Contact Werkgroep Dagvlinders: Jurgen Couckuyt