Comparative descriptions of the immature stages and ecology of five Finnish melitaeine butterfly species (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae)

Niklas Wahlberg
2000 Entomologica Fennica  
The immature stages of five Finnish melitaeine butterfly species are described, together with a short discussion of the ecology of each species. The five species are Melitaea cinxia (L.), M diamina (Lang), M. athalia (Rottemburg), Euphydryas maturna (L.) and E. aurinia (Rottemburg). The eggs of the Euphydryas species are distinguished from the eggs of the Melitaea species by their bright yellow colouration when freshly laid which changes to brown after some days. Eggs of the Melitaea species
more » ... Melitaea species are creamy yellow until hatching. Prediapause larvae are also distinct between these two groups, with Euphydryas species having fine spotting on the body and a very long terminal seta on the spines. These features are absent in the Melitaea species. All larvae diapause as mid-ins tar larvae, usually in the fourth instar. Behaviour of postdiapause larvae varies between species from highly gregarious (M. cinxia and .E. aurinia) through gregarious until diapause (M diamina and E. matuma) to solitary (M. athalia).
doi:10.33338/ef.84062 fatcat:ogrevxrqxfh6tols3jdfxhwtz4