Lycaenidae(redirected from Gossamer-winged butterflies)
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a family of diurnal butterflies. Their wing-spread is 2 to 4 cm. In the male the wings are light blue, dark blue, green, or orange-red, sometimes with considerable glitter; the females’ wings are brown. Occasionally the wings are the same in both sexes. Underneath, the wings are grayish with rows of small eyelike spots. There are more than 2,500 species, of which up to 500 are found in the moderate latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Some 60 species are known in the European part of the USSR. The caterpillars feed on broad-leaved trees (Thecla), grassy Polygonaceae (Chrysophanus), or legumes (various Lycaenidae). In some species the caterpillars are carnivores, eating aphids and scale insects. Lycaenidae do not cause great damage to crops.