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Heliophorus ila matsumurae PICT6037.jpg
Male Heliophorus ila matsumurae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
(unranked): Rhopalocera
Superfamily: Papilionoidea
Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Lycaeninae
Leach, 1815

Lycaeninae, the coppers, are a subfamily of the gossamer-winged butterflies (Lycaenidae).

The relationships of the Lycaenidae are not fully resolved. Sometimes the Polyommatinae and Theclinae are included in the Lycaeninae; in particular the Theclinae tribe Eumaeini contains many similar taxa. Consequently, the delimitation of the Lycaeninae is by no means definitely resolved; many genera await conformation of placement. Regardless, it is today generally considered better to restrict the Lycaeninae to the immediate relatives of the type genus Lycaena, and one or two clades close to that group.[1]


The Lycaenidae sensu stricto can be divided into two tribes:[1]

A few genera included in the Lycaeninae in the most extensive circumscriptions are now placed in subfamilies as distinct as the Lipteninae or Poritiinae. Finally, there are some genera of uncertain status as regards their systematics and taxonomic validity. They might, if valid, be members of the monophyletic Lycaeninae, but this requires confirmation:


  1. ^ a b Brower (2008)


  • Brower, Andrew V.Z. (2008): Tree of Life Web Project – Lycaeninae. Version of 2008-APR-29. Retrieved 2009-FEB-18.

Further reading[edit]

  • Glassberg, Jeffrey Butterflies through Binoculars, The West (2001)
  • James, David G. and Nunnallee, David Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies (2011)
  • Pelham, Jonathan Catalogue of the Butterflies of the United States and Canada (2008)
  • Pyle, Robert Michael The Butterflies of Cascadia (2002)

External links[edit]