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Tiny Grass Blue, Zizula gaika mating in Talakona forest, AP W IMG 8115.jpg
Tiny grass blue, Zizula gaika
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lycaenidae
Subfamily: Polyommatinae
Tribe: Polyommatini
Genus: Zizula
Chapman, 1910

Two, see text

Zizula, commonly called grass blues, is a genus of butterflies in the family Lycaenidae.


There are two species:[1][2][3][4][5][6]

  • Zizula cyna (Edwards, 1881) – tiny blue, cyna blue
    • = Lycaena tulliola Godman & Salvin, 1887
    • = Lycaena mela Strecker, 1900
  • Zizula hylax (Fabricius, 1775) – little grass blue
    • =Zizula gaika, originally Lycaena gaika (Trimen, 1862) – South Africa
    • =Lycaena mylica Guenée, 1863 - Réunion
    • =Lycaena cleodora Walker, 1870 - Egypt
    • =Lycaena perparva Saalmüller, 1884 - Madagascar


  • Zizula hylax attenuata (Lucas, 1890) - Australia
  • Zizula hylax dampierensis (Rothschild, 1915) - Dampier Is.
  • Zizula hylax hylax (Fabricius, 1775) - India, Tranquebar
  • Zizula hylax pygmea (Snellen, 1876) - Java – pygmy grass blue


  • In 1967, ICZN published a ruling on the type species of Pithecops Horsfield, [1818] in favour of a proposal by Cowan, 1965. This effectively recognised the syntype of Papilio hylax Fabr. found in Copenhagen, and validated Zizula hylax as the correct name for the taxon also known as Lycaena gaika Trimen. Savela, in Funet, and Williams in Afrotropical butterflies, as well as earlier south-east Asian references use Fabricius' name hylax as the designation of the taxon. Zizula gaika is reduced to a synonym of hylax by Cowan's proposal and the CZN opinion. Horsfield's use [1928] of the combination Pithecops hylax is shown by Cowan to be a misidentification.
  • Lepindex includes a card for Zizula escalantiana Descimon et al., 1973, which appears erroneous. The taxon escalantiana was described in 1973 by Stoffel & Mast, and is a Nymphalid butterfly in the tribe Preponini. See Lamas, 2004. The Lepindex card includes confirmatory information that escalantiana was described in Prepona Boisduval, 1836, and originates from Mexico. According to Lamas, escalantiana is a subjective synonym of Prepona deiphile (Godart, [1824]).


  1. ^ Zizula, funet.fi
  2. ^ LepIndex: synonymic list for superfamily Papilionoidea family Lycaenidae; subfamily Polyommatinae
  3. ^ Lamas, Gerardo, 2004, Atlas of Neotropical Lepidoptera; Checklist: 4A; Hesperioidea-Papilionoidea
  4. ^ Williams, M. Afrotropical Butterflies.
  5. ^ Cowan, C. F., 1965. Comment on the proposed designation of a type species for Pithecops Horsfield, 1828. Z.N (S.) 1675. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 22(4):209-210.
  6. ^ ICZN. Opinion 822, 1967. Pithecops Horsfield, [1828] designation of a type species under the plenary powers. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 24(4):216-217.