Leucochimona icare icare,

Nielsen, Gregory J. & Kaminski, Lucas A., 2018, Immature stages of the Rubiaceae-feeding metalmark butterflies (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae), and a new function for the tentacle nectary organs, Zootaxa 4524 (1), pp. 1-32: 19-20

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Leucochimona icare icare


Leucochimona icare icare  (Hübner, [1819])

Natural history. Much less abundant than L. lagora  at the study site in Colombia, with only twelve adults recorded during a four year intensive survey (2012–2015). All records are from the rainy season between the months of May through September. No immature stages were found until late August, 2018 when a female was observed ovipositing on a small Ps. poepiggiana  . This female was induced to lay 10 more eggs by confining in a glass jar with the food plant. Larvae fed on the abaxial leaf surface from instar one to four. Fifth instars fed on the adaxial (upper) surface. Predator defenses include crypsis, little and very slow movement, flicking frass pellets away from the feeding area and regurgitation. The TNOs were not observed to evert. Pupation sites were on the adaxial leaf surface along the leaf midrib near the petiole (n = 3) and the plant stem (n = 2). Duration of cycle from egg to adult was from 38-42 days.

Description of immature stages. Egg ( Fig. 105View FIGURES 105–115). Embryonic development 8 days (n = 10). Diameter 0.56– 0.59 mm, height 0.39 mm (n = 10). Pale yellow when freshly laid, spherical with a flat bottom and from the micropyle to the base, rows of 10–11 hexagon cells armed with small spines on the rib intersections. Micropylar area round, centered on top, slightly depressed. Reddish-brown mandibles of larva seen through the exochorion a day before hatching.

First instar ( Fig. 106View FIGURES 105–115). Duration 4 days (n = 5). Head capsule width 0.31–0.34 mm (n = 5). Newly hatched larvae are approximately 1.2 mm, maximum length 2.4 mm. Head capsule translucent, light tan, stemmata black; body whitish but turned green from the intestinal content. A pair of dark brown dorsal setae on each abdominal segment; the lateral setae whitish. TNOs present on A8.

Second instar ( Fig. 107View FIGURES 105–115). Duration 3–4 days (n = 4). Head capsule width 0.51 mm, newly molted larva 2.2 mm, maximum body length 3.8 mm (n=2). Color pattern and morphology similar to first instar, but with more numerous and larger setae.

Third instar. ( Fig. 108View FIGURES 105–115) Duration 4 days (n = 4). Head capsule width 0.74–0.78 mm; initial length 4.1 mm, maximum body length 7.0 mm (n = 4). Head light tan, body greenish with black setae dorsally and white setae laterally. Two pairs of irregular white spots on dorsal of most segments; lateral white spotting above spiracles. TNOs translucent white.

Fourth instar ( Fig. 109View FIGURES 105–115). Duration 4 days (n = 6). Head capsule width 0.88–0.94 mm, initial length 7.6 mm, maximum length 9.0 mm (n = 6). Head light tan; body medium green with black setae dorsally and white setae laterally; spiracles white, enlarged on A8.

Fifth (last) instar ( Figs. 110–113View FIGURES 105–115). Duration 6–7 days, 4–5 days feeding and 2 as prepupa (n = 5). Head capsule width 1.41–1.44 mm, light green, stemmata black. Initial body length 9.5 mm, maximum 17.1 mm. Dorso medium green matching leaf surface coloration, white spotting now greenish-white. Numerous small white setae scattered over dorsal and lateral ( Figs. 112–113View FIGURES 105–115). Dorsal setae separate on chalazae. Prepupa turning slightly lighter green with white spots and a maroon coloration on the dorsal of A3–A8, the lateral lobes of A1 and A4–A6 from the spiracles down also maroon. TNOs on A8 are a contrasting lighter green.

Pupa ( Figs. 114–115View FIGURES 105–115). Duration 11–12 days (n = 5). Length 9.5–10.3 mm, width at A2 = 2.7 mm (n = 5). Body color green. Eye capsules setose. Prothorax brownish-white followed by a white irregular band. Mesothorax with a pair of brownish-white tubercles. Wing pad green-black with a black spot in the discal area. Metathorax with a medial black area and two pairs of tubercles. A1 mostly green. A2 crested, anterior green, a black band anterior to the crest, crest with a gold-brown transversal band. Long whitish erect setae on the prothoracic ridge, the mesothorax tubercles and the A2 crest. Dorsal of A3–A6 maroon, each segment with a white medial spot. A4–A6 lateral area black below spiracles; spiracles white, compressed laterally, raised above surrounding tegument and with oval-shaped openings. A9 and A10 red brownish dorsally. Silk girdle passes over A2. Ventral area mostly green; A5 to A10 flattened, slightly concave.