A new lycaenid butterfly exclusively associated with the subalpine sclerophyllous oak forests in Taiwan (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae, Theclinae)

Yu Feng Hsu, Chih Chien Lu

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Subalpine sclerophyllous oak forest grows at high elevation in Taiwan, distantly separated from similar forest communities found in western China, Tibet and India. An investigation on bud-breaking phenology of oaks and associated phytophagous insects in this community revealed an undescribed species of Teratozephyrus lycaenid. This and other oak-associated insects suggest that the presence of this oak community in Taiwan resulted from a more widely distributed community. The newly discovered Teratozephyrus turned out to be most closely related to T. nuwaii, described from western China, and is described below as T. elatus sp. nov. Two other species of Teratozephyrus also inhabit Taiwan, but both are associated with broad-leaved oak forests. Of them, T. arisanus is widespread both in China and Taiwan, is morphologically distinct from the other Teratozephyrus species and is exclusively associated with broad-leaved oaks. The other, T. yugaii, probably gained its broad-leaved oak association secondarily as no similar species is found in the broad-leaved oak communities on continental Asia, and it favours cool, higher-elevation environments even though its host plant ranges into far lower elevations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-391
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Natural History
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Feb 3



  • Bud-breaking phenology
  • Host association
  • Matsumura's Type Collection
  • Systematics
  • Tadao Kano

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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