Harman Patil (Editor)

Erikssonia edgei

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Kingdom  Animalia
Class  Insecta
Family  Lycaenidae
Phylum  Arthropoda
Order  Lepidoptera
Genus  Erikssonia
Erikssonia edgei

Erikssonia edgei, the Waterberg copper or Tilodi copper, is a butterfly of the Lycaenidae family. It is found in South Africa where it was previously known only from the type locality, the north-facing base of a peak (Perdekop) on the edge of a wide flat valley in the Waterberg mountain bushveld. This butterfly was thought to be extinct as it was last seen in the early 1980s, however it has since been rediscovered on 2 March 2013 in another locality by Professor Mark Williams of the Lepidopterists' Society of Africa. Jeremy Dobson and Owen Garvie were assigned to implement a conservation plan for the new locality, which is located in a private nature reserve in the Waterberg.

The forewing length is 12.3-16.8 mm for males and 16.1–19.1 mm for females. Adults are on wing from December to February. The species has a slow, fluttering flight. When disturbed adults dive into the grass.

It was found to be closely related to the Aloeides rough coppers and like them, is associated with ground-nesting ants. The larvae were found to feed on Gnidia kraussiana. They sheltered in the ants' nests, where the pupae were formed. It is very likely that the butterfly's black-spotted orange markings are a sign of unpalatability and it may well form part of a mimicry ring with Telchinia serena.

Etymology

It is named after Dave Edge, who, together with Esmé Edge, discovered the population in the Waterberg Mountains near Vaalwater and first realized this species to be distinct. Tilodi recalls Tlodi farm where it was discovered.

References

Erikssonia edgei Wikipedia


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