Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Larvae of three species of hairstreak butterflies in the subfamily Theclinae (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) were found feeding on developing inflorescences, flower buds, and immature fruits of the velvet tree, (Miconia calvescens) de Candolle (Myrtales: Melastomataceae) in Costa Rica. (Erora opisena) (Druce), (Parrhasius polibetes) (Cramer), and (Temecla paron0 (Godman and Salvin) were studied in association with (M. calvescens), an uncommon tree in its natural range in the neotropics and a target for biocontrol as an invader in Pacific islands. Host plant use by the three theclines was similar, with eggs being laid on inflorescences and cryptic larvae remaining throughout development. Feeding damage by (E. opisena) was most abundant in pre-flowering (M. calvescens), when 23% of inflorescences showed feeding damage characteristic of this species. Feeding damage by (T. paron) peaked at flowering, when 30% of inflorescences were affected. At field sites, (E. opisena) and (T. paron) damaged an average of 26 and 18% of each attacked inflorescence, respectively. In cage experiments, individual third- and fourth-instar larvae of (E. opisena) damaged an average of 24 and 21% of an inflorescence before pupating, respectively. This study provides the first host plant record for (E. opisena) and (T. paron), the first record of P. polibetes feeding on Melastomataceae, and the first records of (E. opisena) and T(T. paron) presence in Costa Rica.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Badenes-Pérez, F.R.; Alfaro-Alpízar, M.A.; Johnson, M.T. 2010. Diversity, ecology and herbivory of hairstreak butterflies (Theclinae) associated with the velvet tree, Miconia calvescens in Costa Rica. Journal of Insect Science. 10: 1-9.


    biodiversity, butterflies, Erora opisena, hairstreak, inflorescence, Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae, Parrhasius polibetes, Temecla paron, Theclinae

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page