Comparative morphological analysis of the immature stages of the grass blue butterflies Zizeeria and Zizina (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)

Gurung, Raj D., Iwata, Masaki, Hiyama, Atsuki, Taira, Wataru, Degnan, Bernard, Degnan, Sandie and Otaki, Joji M. (2016) Comparative morphological analysis of the immature stages of the grass blue butterflies Zizeeria and Zizina (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae). Zoological Science, 33 4: 384-400. doi:10.2108/zs150171


Author Gurung, Raj D.
Iwata, Masaki
Hiyama, Atsuki
Taira, Wataru
Degnan, Bernard
Degnan, Sandie
Otaki, Joji M.
Title Comparative morphological analysis of the immature stages of the grass blue butterflies Zizeeria and Zizina (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)
Formatted title
Comparative morphological analysis of the immature stages of the grass blue butterflies Zizeeria and Zizina (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)
Journal name Zoological Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0289-0003
2212-3830
Publication date 2016-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2108/zs150171
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 33
Issue 4
Start page 384
End page 400
Total pages 17
Place of publication Tokyo, Japan
Publisher Zoological Society of Japan
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The pale grass blue butterfly has been used to assess the biological effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident. Zizeeria and Zizina are two closely related genera of grass blue butterflies that are widely distributed in tropical to temperate Asia, Australia, and Africa, making them suitable environmental indicators for these areas. However, the morphological features of the immature stages have been examined only in fragmentary fashion. Here, we reared Zizeeria maha argia, Zizeeria maha okinawana, Zizeeria karsandra karsandra, Zizina emelina emelina, Zizina otis labradus, and Zizina otis riukuensis using a standard rearing method that was developed for Zizeeria maha, and comparatively identified morphological traits to effectively classify the immature stages of species or subspecies. Morphological information on these and other subspecies including Zizeeria knysna knysna and Zizina otis antanossa from Africa was also collected from literature. The subspecies were all reared successfully. The subspecies all had dorsal nectary and tentacle organs with similar morphology. For the subspecies of Zizeeria maha, only minor morphological differences were noted. Similarly, the subspecies of Zizina otis shared many traits. Most importantly, Zizeeria and Zizina differed in the shape of the sensory hairs that accompany the dorsal nectary organ; Zizeeria had pointed hairs, and Zizina had blunt or rounded hairs. However, Zizina emelina exhibited several intermediate features between these two genera. Overall, the morphological traits did not completely reflect the conventional systematic relationships. This comparative study describes the efficient rearing of the grass blue butterflies and provides a morphological basis for the use of these species as environmental indicators.
Keyword Environmental indicator species
Grass blue butterfly
Immature stage
Lycaenid butterfly
Morphology
Polyommatini
Rearing method
Zizeeria
Zizina
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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