What is Arhopala Elopura?
In 1894, a biologist named Hamilton Herbert Druce was responsible for discovering Arhopala Elopura. They contribute to the fauna of the habitat in which they develop. Arhopala Elopura is a butterfly with varying patterns and colors across the entire subspecies. It characterizes fine, filmy, delicate, and thin wings since it belongs to the Lycaenidae family. The butterflies lying in the subspecies of Arhopala Elopura are mostly of small size and medium size in certain variations. Arhopala Elopura is also known as oak blue since they belong to the Arhopala genus. Most butterflies falling under these species have a metallic blue color ranging from deep to light shades. The blue pigmentation might cover a high area of the wings or specific areas in the upper regions of the wings. They are challenging to identify and photograph since their habitat mainly includes deep forests or places with many jackfruit trees or macaranga species of plants wherein the next generation can have a favorite place to grow.
Where is Arhopala Elopura found?
Certain regions of Asian countries, mainly India, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaya, and Lagqawi, observe the presence of Arhopala Elopura. They are cold-blooded insects, and external climatic conditions, most importantly temperatures, can control their body's temperature, and suitable conditions include intermediate temperature. Extreme cold or hot desert-like conditions are not suitable habitats for their survival, growth, and development.
Since it is a tropical insect, it requires favorable climatic conditions with medium-hot temperatures and ample humidity. Therefore, it is most commonly visible in the region of Southeast Asia. Due to a current decline in its population in India, the country has given it protection under the wildlife protection status. They can most commonly be present on a vast jackfruit tree at a semi-urban location with a specific area of remnant forests, most probably close to the equatorial tropics. Studies suggest that Arhopala Elopura prefer to stay in logged forests instead of roadsides or urban areas, and therefore, they are not commonly visible .
Arhopala Elopura characteristics
Each butterfly has a specific character of spatial scattering of the patterns with slight variations present at the wings, a temperate region that helps it fly. However, the overall design present in the wings can have a vast or less scattered appearance. The most commonly seen colors of Arhopala Elopura's wings are brown, blue, and green, with hints of patterns on the wings. It is also known as yellow-tailed oak blue since, irrespective of its color, it has a characteristic broad border at the ends of the wing region and has four wings like any other butterfly. The adoption of pigmentation in the wings is an indicator of evolution in Arhopala Elopura for environmental adaptation in association with the butterfly's body temperature due to changes in climatic conditions. The growth and development of Arhopala Elopura most commonly occur in the macaranga species of plant that has a considerable distribution in the rainforest tropical areas like southeast Asia and Thailand and the southern region of China.
Arhopala Elopura classification
Since Arhopala is a type of butterfly, they belong to the animal kingdom Animalia and are a subtype of the insect class. It belongs to the Arhopalus genus, which belongs to the Arthopalini tribe. The Lycaenidae family is a group of butterflies with a gossamer wing. Since Arhopala belongs to this family, adult butterflies tend to be tiny, and their wingspan is 0.75 to 1.5 inches .
The difference between the appearance of the color, pattern, and morphology across the subspecies of Arhopala Elopura classifies it as follows:
Arhopala Hellenore: It is commonly known as green oak blue. It has a characteristic light blue or indigo-purple color at the wings' upper side, differentiating it from the Arhopala Hellenore class in the sub-species.
Arhopala Perimuta: A characteristic yellow disk present at the upper end of the wings differentiates Arhopala Perimuta from its subclasses. Apart from the color, it also has a slightly different morphology of wings with a tailless structure, and its wing portion has a round appearance.
Arhopala Silhetensis: Sylhet oak blue is a common name for the Arhopala Silhetensis subclass. It has a broad border pattern that surrounds the wings' boundaries. Commonly, it is smaller in size in comparison to the other classes. Blue or brown pigmentation is visible in the inner portion of some variations of Arhopala Silhetensis.
Growth, Development, and Overall Life cycle of Arhopala Elopura
The female Arhopala Elopura lays a few eggs after mating at a secure location in the leaf of a plant, where it secretes a chemical similar to the properties of glue for attaching and supporting the eggs to the leaf. Like a regular butterfly, Arhopala grows through four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The Arhopala butterflies begin their life cycle with the egg stage, where each egg is as tiny as a pin. In typical cases, the gestation period of the egg is about two weeks, after which it develops into a larva. In the larval stage, a caterpillar-like creature gets proper nutrients from its environment to grow and move forward to the next step. During the larva development phase, the Arhopala larva tends to mimic the chemical components of the ants to protect itself from the ants present in its surroundings, thereby making them more immune to the predators in the environment . The pupa is the process wherein the caterpillar undergoes cellular level changes and reconstruction inside a chrysalis or a cocoon. Once the caterpillar's complete development and morphology rebuilding are viable in the cocoon, the exoskeleton sheds out and transforms the caterpillar into a fully grown butterfly of Arhopala Elopura.
Arhopala Elopura - References
- Immature stages and biology of Bornean Arhopala butterflies (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae) feeding on myrmecophytic Macaranga. Retrieved 23 Dec 2022. Takao Itioka (2018).
- https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0120652. Retrieved 23 Dec 2022. Inui Y. et al. (2015). Various chemical strategies to deceive ants in three Arhopala species (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) exploiting Macaranga myrmecophytes. PLoS One, 8;10(4):e0120652.
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0418.2005.00916.x. Retrieved 23 Dec 2022. Francis D. et. al. (2005). The impact of logging on the abundance, species richness and community composition of butterfly guilds in Borneo. Journal of Applied Entomology, 129(1), pp. 52-59.
- http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/abs.6.e53770. Retrieved 23 Dec. Kosterin A. (2020). Occasional photographic records of butterflies (Lepidoptera, Papilionoidea) in Cambodia: 3, Pursat, Siem Reap, Preah Vihear and Stung Treng Provinces in western, north-western and northern Cambodia. Acta Biologica Sibirica. 6(2), pp. 298-338.
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