The genus Tarucus Moore, [1881] (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) in the Indian Subcontinent


  • Dipendra Nath Basu
  • Paresh Churi
  • Abhay Soman
  • Ashok Sengupta
  • Milind Bhakare
  • Swapnil Lokhande
  • Sunil Bhoite
  • Blanca Huertas
  • Krushnamegh Kunte


Tarucus (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) is a group of Afro-Oriental butterflies, with the Indian Subcontinent being one of its centers of diversity with eight species. In this study, we provide a taxonomic and nomenclatural review of these species based on morphology (male genitalia) and type specimens, and designate lectotypes in the Natural History Museum, London, and the Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, for the following names: Tarucus callinara nigra Bethune-Baker, [1918], Tarucus callinara Butler, 1886, Tarucus venosus hazara Evans, 1932, Tarucus venosus Moore, 1882, Tarucus alteratus Moore, 1882, Tarucus extricatus Butler, 1886, Tarucus bengalensis Bethune-Baker, [1918], Tarucus theophrastus indica Evans, 1932, Castalius ananda de Nicéville, [1884], Tarucus dharta Bethune-Baker, [1918]. We also describe previously unrecognized variation within Tarucus balkanica nigra that has caused confusion in the past. We then discuss aspects of their natural history and spatio-temporal distribution. We describe and illustrate early stages, larval host plants, parasitoids and other aspects of the reproductive biology of Indian Tarucus. Finally, we provide an identification key for all the Indian species based on wing color patterns and the male genitalia.