HairstreaksAndrew V. Z. Brower
This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.
The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.
You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.close box
The hairstreaks are an extremely diverse lycaenid subfamily, well-represented in all regions and particularly in the tropics. Many species possess "tails" on the apices of the hindwings that authors have hypothesized act as a false head, distracting the attention of predators away from the more vital body parts (see Robbins, 1980, 1981).
The hypothesis of relationships among tribes is based on Eliot's (1973) intuitive phylogeny. Note that Eliot viewed Theclinae as a subfamily at that point (he demoted the group to a tribe in Corbet et al. 1992). According to R. K. Robbins (pers. comm., 2008), Eliot's 1992 reduction in rank of the hairstreaks, blues and coppers has not been adopted by most lycaenid researchers, and so these taxa are here ranked as a clade of subfamilies.
Corbet, A. S., Pendlebury, H. M. & Eliot, J. N. 1992 The butterflies of the Malay Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur: Malayan Nature Society.
Eliot, J. N. 1973 The higher classification of the Lycaenidae (Lepidoptera): a tentative arrangement. Bull. Br. Mus. Nat. Hist. (Ent.) 28, 371-505, 6 pls.
Robbins, R. K. 1980 The lycaenid "false head" hypothesis: historical review and quantitative analysis. J. Lepid. Soc. 34, 194-208.
Robbins, R. K. 1981 The "false head" hypothesis: predation and wing pattern variation of lycaenid butterflies. Amer. Nat. 118, 770-775.
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Andrew V. Z. Brower at
Page copyright © 2007
Page: Tree of Life Theclinae Authored by . Hairstreaks.Andrew V. Z. Brower. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.
- First online 02 November 2007
- Content changed 24 April 2008
Citing this page:
Brower, Andrew V. Z. 2008. Theclinae http://tolweb.org/Theclinae/106372/2008.04.24 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Hairstreaks. Version 24 April 2008 (under construction).