Leucochimona lagora, Herrich-Schäffer, 1850

Nielsen, Gregory J. & Kaminski, Lucas A., 2018, Immature stages of the Rubiaceae-feeding metalmark butterflies (Lepidoptera: Riodinidae), and a new function for the tentacle nectary organs, Zootaxa 4524 (1), pp. 1-32: 18

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Leucochimona lagora


Leucochimona lagora   (Herrich-Schäffer, [1853])

Natural history. Adults were never observed openly perching as the three preceding species of Mesosemia   but only making short flights and alighting on the underside of leaves. Females were observed occasionally flying around host plants and ovipositing during the late morning hours. Eggs were laid singly on the underside of a mature host plant leaf. Larvae cut a circle around the micropylar area to leave the egg. First and second instars fed on the adaxial leaf surface cutting channels and leaving little windows of the upper leaf epidermis intact ( Fig. 96 View FIGURES 93–104 ). Three host plants were recorded: Ps. caerulea   , Palicourea deflexa   (DC) Borhidi and Pa. racemosa   . Pupation occurred on the host plant on stems or leaves. Two color morphs were observed: a dark form with dark brown wing pads (n = 3), and a light form with white wing pads and brown margins (n = 3). Development from egg to adult averaged 39 days.

Description of immature stages. Egg ( Figs. 93–94 View FIGURES 93–104 ). Embryonic development 9 days (n = 2). Diameter 0.51 mm (n = 5). Pale yellow-cream when freshly laid, spherical with a flat bottom and a pattern of small hexagons cells armed with small spines on the rib intersections. Micropylar area centered on the top.

First instar ( Fig. 95 View FIGURES 93–104 ). Duration 3–4 days (n = 5). Head capsule width 0.26-0.28 mm (n = 5). Newly hatched larvae are approximately 1.1 mm, maximum length 2 mm. Head capsule light tan, stemmata black; body whitish and dorsally green from the intestinal content. Dorsal setae on each segment dark brown; the lateral setae whitish.

Second instar ( Fig. 96 View FIGURES 93–104 ). Duration 3 days (n = 2). Head capsule width 0.54 mm, maximum body length 4 mm. Color pattern and morphology similar to first instar, but with more numerous and larger setae.

Third instar. Duration 3 days (n = 2). Head capsule width 0.84 mm, maximum body length 8 mm. Head light tan, body greenish with black setae dorsally and white setae laterally.

Fourth instar ( Fig. 97 View FIGURES 93–104 ). Duration 4 days (n = 5). Head capsule width 1.15 mm, maximum length 11 mm. Head light tan; body medium green with black setae dorsally and white setae laterally; spiracles white.

Fifth (last) instar ( Figs. 98–100 View FIGURES 93–104 ). Duration 5 days, 3 days feeding and 2 as prepupa (n = 5). Head capsule width 1.9 mm, light green, stemmata black. Maximum body length 20 mm. Dorso yellowish-green during feeding ( Fig. 98 View FIGURES 93–104 ), prepupa turning darker green with white spots and a rosy coloration on the lateral lobes ( Fig. 99 View FIGURES 93–104 ). TNOs are a contrasting lighter green on A8 ( Fig. 100 View FIGURES 93–104 ).

Pupa ( Figs. 101–104 View FIGURES 93–104 ). Duration 11–12 days (n = 5). Length 10.6–12.6 mm (n = 7), width at A2 = 3.7 mm. Two color morphs were observed. Two days after pupation the wing pads turned from green to either white or dark brown ( Figs. 101–102 View FIGURES 93–104 ). Body color green. Anterior edge of prothorax medium brown followed by a white irregular band. Mesothorax with a pair of reddish brown tubercles. Metathorax with a pair of anterior dark brown spots. A2 crested, anterior green, crest gold-brown. Spiracle of A2 raised and slit-shaped. On A4–A8, lateral area below spiracles black; spiracles white. Segments A9 to A10 red brownish dorsally. Short upright setae on thoracic segments, pointing posteriorly on abdomen. Longer setae on A2 crest and T2 tubercles. Eyes setose. Silk girdle passes over A1 or A2.