Taxonomy

Common name :

Lycène du gaïac

Red List Status -


Description

Wingspan: about 16mm in both sexes, sometimes less.

Behaviour: Imagos fly above the host plant, often alighting on phyllodes (“leaves”) or inflorescences. Several generations follow one another, adults and caterpillars coexist.

Mating takes place on the host plant where the caterpillars developed, with interference from other males.

The females lay eggs on the still-forming inflorescences.

Status: abundant, but sometimes localized.

Host plant: Acacia spirorbis Labill. (“guaiac”). The caterpillars feed on the flower spikes and are perfectly homochromous with the open flowers. Myrmecophily perhaps occasional but attested, observed with the introduced ant Tapinoma melanocephalum (F.), caterpillars and pupae (see photo dedicaded pin). Behavior to be investigated concerning the association with endemic or autochthonous species.

(Jacques LAMY)

DISTRIBUTION IN NEW CALEDONIA

Grande Terre Loyalty Islands


Geographical distribution