Butterflies of Europe
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
subtribe - PARARGINA
genus Lopinga comprises of only 4
species. All have their core populations in China, which is where
the genus probably evolved. Two have been adaptable enough to be
able to expand their ranges westward -
deidamia, which reaches the Ural mountains; and
achine, which has managed to spread as
far west as the Pyrenees.
Lopinga achine is a declining species,
generally regarded as scarce, but can be locally common in parts of
Switzerland, Hungary and Croatia.
species is found in grassy woodland edge habitats at elevations
between about 200-1500m.
The adult flight
period is from mid-June to early July.
The eggs are laid
on the blades of grasses growing in dappled sunlight, usually close
to trees or bushes. The larvae hatch in mid-July, feed for a few
weeks, and then hibernate at the base of grass clumps. They awaken
in the spring, resume feeding, and become fully grown by late May.
its final instar the caterpillar is light green, with a prominent
white stripe running beneath the spiracles along the abdominal
segments, and a series of very fine lines running along the length
of the back. The body and head are sparsely covered in short whitish
larval foodplants are grasses and sedges, but the exact species used
for oviposition apparently varies from site to site. In France
Brachypodium sylvaticum and
B. pinnatum are thought to be the primary foodplants, but
field observations by Bergman showed that at a site in Sweden 85% of
larvae there fed on Carex montana. Some
were found also on Dechampsia cespitosa
but the latter had a high mortality rate.
Males feed either singly or in small
groups, at sources of mineralised moisture including seepages,
urine-tainted soil, dry river beds and dung. Females are more
secretive in behaviour but have been recorded feeding at aphid
secretions on the leaves and buds of various trees.