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Rounded Pierrot (Tarucus nara)- Female on Zizyphus species in Hyderabad, AP W IMG 7964.jpg
Rounded Pierrot (Tarucus nara) female on a Zizyphus species
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Polyommatinae
Tribe: Polyommatini
Genus: Tarucus
Moore, 1881
Type species
Hesperia theophrastus
Fabricius, 1793
About 20 species (but see text)

Tarucus is a butterfly genus in the family Lycaenidae. They are commonly known as blue Pierrots or simply Pierrots. But the latter name is often used for the very closely related genus Castalius. In fact, the delimitation of Castalius versus Tarucus is not yet fully resolved, with some species, such as the dark Pierrot (T. ananda), having been moved between the two genera repeatedly. It may even be that they are eventually regarded as synonymous, and in that case the older name Castalius would supersede Tarucus.

Several species formerly in Tarucus have recently been moved to Leptotes, another closely related lineage (though not quite as close as Castalius).

The caterpillars of this genus typically feed on Zizyphus and are attended by ants.


The genus can be divided in two distinct groups. These are generally separated geographically, but some taxa (such as the black-spotted Pierrot, T. balkanicus nigra), though assigned to one group, occur in the range of the other. Consequently, it is not quite clear whether the groups are clades or merely convenient but paraphyletic assemblages:[1]

Afrotropical group:

South Asian group:


  1. ^ Brower (2008), and see references in Savela (2009)