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Red-banded hairstreak
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Theclinae
Swainson, 1831

See text

The subfamily Theclinae is a group of butterflies, including the hairstreaks, elfins and allies, in the family Lycaenidae. There are many tropical species as well as a number found in the Americas. Tropical hairstreaks often have iridescent blue coloration above, caused by reflected light from the structure of the wing scales rather than by pigment. Hairstreaks from North America are commonly brown above. Few Theclinae are migratory. Members of this group are described as 'thecline'.


The systematics and phylogeny of the numerous Theclinae has not reached a robust consensus yet. The arrangement presented here is based on Savela (2007), but be aware that it is probably oversplit and several tribes may not be valid. Nonetheless, the tribes as listed here generally seem to represent monophyletic lineages, but whether this is indeed so and whether these are distinct enough to warrant this level of separation remains to be resolved.


The subfamily includes the following tribes:

Genera of incertae sedis[edit]

Museum drawer of West Palaearctic Theclinae

The following genera have not yet been assigned to a tribe:


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]