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Species Eumaeus atala - Atala - Hodges#4268

Atala pupae - Eumaeus atala butterfly? - Eumaeus atala Atala Laying Eggs - Eumaeus atala - female Atala - Eumaeus atala Atala - Eumaeus atala Atala Butterfly - Eumaeus atala Atala Butterfly - Eumaeus atala - female Atala Hairstreak - Eumaeus atala
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Classification
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 Theclinae (Hairstreaks)
Tribe Eumaeini
Genus Eumaeus
Species atala (Atala - Hodges#4268)
Hodges Number
4268
Other Common Names
Atala Hairstreak
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Eumaeus atala (Poey, 1831)
Explanation of Names
Author of the species is Cuban entomologist Charles Felipe Felipe Poey y Aloy (1799-1891). The original publication is Centurie de Lepidoptere de L'Ile de Cuba (Paris, 1832, or 1831?).
It seems likely Poey named the butterfly for "Atala", the Native American heroine of an 1801 French novella by Chateaubriand, Atala ou les amours de deux sauvages dans le d├ęsert (Internet searches).
Size
Wingspan 38-51 mm
Identification
Distinctive color and pattern, likely aposematic.
Range
s FL including (formerly?) the Keys, Bahamas, and Cuba. Florida subspecies is endangered.
Habitat
Subtropical shady hammocks and neighboring open areas; gardens with ornamental cycads.
Season
Throughout year (many broods), most common in early summer.
Food
Adults take nectar.
Life Cycle
Larvae feed on Coontie, Zamia pumila, a native cycad, as well as introduced cycads. It is likely that the cycads provide toxic alkaloids that serve as chemical defenses for the caterpillar and butterfly.
Remarks
considered by FL to be a "Species of Greatest Conservation Need" (SGCN) (1)
Internet References
Florida Coonties and Atala Butterflies--Univ. Florida, a good article on status and rearing
Tree of Life--Eumaeus