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Butterflies of New Zealand
Maui's Copper
Lycaena edna  DOUBLEDAY, 1843
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - LYCAENINAE
Tribe - LYCAENINI
Lycaena edna male, Waipu, Northland, NZ Nigel Peace
Introduction
The current classification of the genus Lycaena is unsatisfactory and in need of revision. The genus is loosely split into several unofficial groupings, which ultimately will be classified as sub-genera or new genera. Under existing classification there are about 70 Lycaena species, variously distributed across temperate regions of the world.
There were originally thought to be only 4 Lycaena species in New Zealand i.e. salustius, feredayi, boldenarum and rauparaha, but the former boldenarum subspecies tama and caerulea are now recognised as full species, as is edna which was formerly regarded as a subspecies of salustius.
Lycaena edna is found only on the North Island of New Zealand.
Habitats
This species inhabits lowland areas including sand dunes and grassland.
Lifecycle

The larval foodplants are Muehlenbeckia species ( Polygonaceae ).

Adult behaviour

The adults have a rapid erratic flight just above ground level.

Lycaena edna female, Waipu, Northland, NZ Nigel Peace

 

 

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