Family Riodinidae, the Metalmarks
- The common name of this family, the Metalmarks, refers to the bright, metallic
spots marking the wings of many of its members.
- Some sources consider this family to be a subfamily of the Lycaenidae.
Like the Lycaenids, the males of this family have reduced forelegs while the
females have full-sized, fully functional forelegs.
- There are only about 20 species of this family occurring in North America;
only one can be found in Idaho. It belongs to the Subfamily Riodininae.
- In addition to the traits listed above, the butterflies are generally characterized
by: 1) the foreleg of most males, in addition to being reduced, has a uniquely
shaped first segment (the coxa) which extends beyond its joint with the second
segment, rather than meeting it flush; 2) the hindwing exhibits unique vennation;
and 3) most species perch on the undersides of leaves with the wings held
open and completely flat.
- Eggs vary in shape but often appear round and flattened. The caterpillars
are usually hairy, plump, and are the common overwintering stage. Pupa
are hairy and attached with silk to either the host plant or to ground debris
or leaf litter. There is no cocoon.
Family Members in Idaho: