Lycaenidae is the second-largest butterfly after Nymphalidae, with over 6,000 species worldwide and constitute about 30% of the known butterfly species.

Adults are small, under 50mm, brightly coloured, sometimes with a metallic gloss. Adults have hairy antenna-like tails with black and white annulated (ringed) appearance. Many species also have a spot at the base of the tail. Some species even turn around upon landing to confuse potential predators from recognizing the true head orientation. This causes predators to approach from the true head end resulting in early visual detection.

Larvae are flattened rather than cylindrical, with glands that may produce secretions that attract and subdue ants. Their cuticles tend to be thickened. Some larvae are capable of producing vibrations and low sounds that are transmitted through the substrates they inhabit and used to communicate with ants.

Lycaenid caterpillars are diverse in their food habits and apart from plant matter, some feed on aphids, scale insects, and ant larvae. 75% of Lycaenids are associated with ants, and can be mutualistic, parasitic, or predatory depending on the species. Some lycaenids even exploit their association with ants by inducing ants to feed them by regurgitation. In other species, the larvae are protected by ants while they feed on the host plant, and in return the ants receive sugar-rich honeydew.  In some species, only the first few instars are spent on the host plant, and the remainder of the larval lifespan is spent as a predator within the ant nest, or they might feed on ant regurgitations.

The caterpillars pupate inside the ants’ nest and the ants continue to look after the pupae. The adult emerges from the pupa after three to four weeks only expanding their wings upon crawling free of the ant’s nest.

Source: Wikipedia

Subfamily Lycaeninae

Tribe Heliophorini

Heliophorus epicles
(Doi Inthanon, Chiangmai)

Subfamily Miletinae

Tribe Miletini

Allotinus unicolor
(Johore, Malaysia)
Allotinus sp. 0F1A8372
(Tawau Hills, Sabah, Malaysia)
Logania marmorata
Miletus biggsii
Miletus sp.
(Khao Sok NP, Thailand)

Subfamily Polyommatinae

Tribe Polyommatini

Caleta elna elvira (Singapore)
Jamides celeno
Jamides zebra
(Sarawak, Malaysia)
Zizula hylax

Subfamily Theclinae

Tribe Arhopalini

Arhopala epimuta

Tribe Cheritrini

Drupadia ravindra

Tribe Deudorigini

Rapala suffusa
Sinthusa privata
(Sabah, Malaysia)

Tribe Hypolycaenini

Hypolycaena erylus

Tribe Iolaini

Jacoona anasuja

Tribe Loxurini

Eooxylides tharis
Loxura atymnus
(Kaeng Krachan NP, Thailand)

Tribe Remelanini

Pseudotajuria donatana