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Species Feniseca tarquinius - Harvester - Hodges#4249

Harvester empty pupal case - Feniseca tarquinius Butterfly - Valentine Harvester - Left Lateral - Feniseca tarquinius Very delicate Skipper  - Feniseca tarquinius Harvester_DSC0042 8-30-2012 1-38-57 PM - Feniseca tarquinius Lycaenidae? - Feniseca tarquinius Feniseca tarquinius Harvester Larvae and Woolly Maple Aphid colony on bristly greenbrier - Feniseca tarquinius Harvester (Feniseca tarquinius) - Feniseca tarquinius
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Lycaenidae (Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks, Harvesters)
Subfamily Miletinae (Harvesters, Apeflies)
Genus Feniseca
Species tarquinius (Harvester - Hodges#4249)
Hodges Number
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Feniseca tarquinius (Fabricius)
Orig. Comb: Hesperia tarquinius Fabricius, 1793
Explanation of Names
Genus name feniseca is Latin meaning a mower, a harvester (1). Lucius Tarquinus Superbus was the legendary seventh (and last) Etruscan king of Rome who was exiled for cruelty. So this is the "cruel harvester".
two subspecies per BOA:
Wingspan 23-32 mm
Distinctive small orange, black, and white-patterned Lycaennid. Underside, with the white circlets, is unique. (This helps it blend in with aphid colonies it visits?) Do not rub wings together like other members of this family. Flight erratic, quite dizzying for the butterfly-watcher.
e. N. Amer. - Map (MPG)
Woodlands, esp. deciduous forests. Often along streams, near the hos tplant (alders) for its larval prey, wooly aphids. Sometimes in drier woods, such as near American Beech, which also hosts aphids.
mostly: Apr-Sept (MPG)
Adults take fluids, e.g., from damp sand, dung, carrion, aphid honeydew.
Caterpillars eat other insects, especially woolly aphids.
Life Cycle
Males perch on leaves (near aphid colonies?) on the lookout for females, also patrol. Eggs laid among aphid (or other homopteran) colonies. Larvae are unique, feed on wooly aphids and other homopterans that suck sap from trees, shrubs, and occasionally, herbs. Larvae are reported to feed from under a silken web. Larvae of some species in this subfamily are attended by ants, but this has not been noted for this species. May overwinter as a late-stage larva.
Always seem to be rather uncommon and local.
One of a handful of carnivorous Lepidoptera
Print References
Borror, entry for feniseca (1)
Scott, #295, p. 396, has illustrations of larva, pupa. (2)
Brock, pp. 80-81 (3)
Glassberg, p. 65, plate 15 (4)
Allen, p. 73, has illustrations of adult, larva, pupa. (5)
Works Cited
1.Dictionary of Word Roots and Combining Forms
Donald J. Borror. 1960. Mayfield Publishing Company.
2.The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide
James A. Scott. 1992. Stanford University Press.
3.Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Focus Guides)
Jim P. Brock, Kenn Kaufman. 2003. Houghton Mifflin Co.
4.Butterflies Through Binoculars: The East
Jeffrey Glassberg. 1999. Oxford University Press.
5.The Butterflies of West Virginia and Their Caterpillars
Thomas J. Allen. 1998. University of Pittsburgh Press.