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Butterflies of Europe
Geranium Bronze
Cacyreus marshalli  BUTLER, 1898
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - LYCAENINAE
Tribe - LYCAENINI
Cacyreus marshalli, Nerja, Andalucia, Spain Peter Bruce-Jones
Introduction

There are 10 species in the genus Cacyreus, all of which are entirely African in distribution. One of these - marshalli, was accidentally introduced to Europe from South Africa in 1990, and has since become a serious pest of Pelargonium and Geranium in Spain and France.

Cacyreus lingeus is a very widespread and common species which occurs throughout Africa with the exception of desert areas. In Europe it is expected to expand its range northwards and eastwards during the next few years. In the UK it was first recorded in 1997 in Sussex, and there have been several more records since then.

Cacyreus marchalli, Nerja, Andalucia, Spain Peter Bruce-Jones

Habitats

In South Africa this species inhabits woodland and grassland.

Lifecycle

The larvae feed on Pelargonium in Africa, and on cultivated Pelargonium in Europe. Currently there is no evidence that the butterfly is using other Geraniaceae. The larvae are pale green and feed either on the leaves or within the stems of the foodplants.

Adult behaviour

Both sexes nectar principally at Geraniaceae.

 

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