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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Hexapoda
Classis: Insecta
Cladus: Dicondylia
Subclassis: Pterygota
Cladus: Metapterygota
Infraclassis: Neoptera
Cladus: Eumetabola
Cladus: Endopterygota
Superordo: Panorpida
Cladus: Amphiesmenoptera
Ordo: Lepidoptera
Subordo: Glossata
Cladus: Coelolepida
Cladus: Myoglossata
Cladus: Neolepidoptera
Infraordo: Heteroneura
Cladus: Eulepidoptera
Cladus: Ditrysia
Cladus: Apoditrysia
Cladus: Obtectomera
Superfamilia: Papilionoidea

Familia: Nymphalidae
Subfamilia Limenitidinae
Tribus: Adoliadini
Genus: Lexias
Species: L. acutipenna – L. aeetes – L. aegle – L. aeropa – L. albopunctata – L. amlana – L. bangkana – L. canescens – L. cyanipardus – L. damalis – L. dirtea – L. hikarugenzi – L. immaculata – L. panopus – L. pardalis – L. perdix – L. satrapes

Lexias Boisduval, [1832]

Type species: Papilio aeropa Linnaeus, 1758

Marthisa Moore, [1897], TS: Symphaedra canescens Butler, 1869
Camaraga Moore, [1897], TS: Cynthia damalis Erichson, 1834
Senadipa Moore, [1897], TS: Lexias satrapes C. & R. Felder, 1861

Additional references

Gassó Miracle, M.E. & Yokochi, T. 2016. Type specimens of South East Asian Adoliadini (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. Lepidoptera Science 67(2): 67–88. full aticle (PDF). Reference page.
Hanafusa, H. 1990. Ten new subspecies of Indonesian butterflies (Lep.: Papilionidae, Satyridae, Nymphalidae). Futao 4: 12–15. Reference page.
Hanafusa, H. 1993: A list of butterflies from Mentawai Islands, Indonesia (3). Futao 14: 8–25.
Jumalon, J.N., 1970: A new Philippine species and subspecies of Adolias (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). The Philippine Scientist 7: 21–34.
Nuyda, J. & Kawamura, S. 1989: New subspecies of Philippine butterflies. Futao 2: 16–18. Reference page.
Yokochi, T., 1991: A new subspecies of Lexias cyanipardus Butler from North Thailand. Futao 8: 16–16.
Yokochi, T. 1995: Two new subspecies of Lexias canescens Butler from Indonesia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Futao 19: 8–9.
Yokochi, T. 1996: A new subspecies of Lexias bangkana B. Hagen from Laut Island, Indonesia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae). Futao 21: 2.

The archdukes are a genus, Lexias, of tropical forest-dwelling butterflies that are common throughout Southeast Asia and Australasia. Members of the brush-footed butterfly family Nymphalidae, the genus is represented by about 17 species. Two very similar and coexisting genera are Tanaecia (the viscounts and earls) and Euthalia (the barons and counts), the latter previously including some Lexias species. The largest species reach a wingspan of about 10 cm (4 in).


Lexias pardalis and L. dirtea are also among the most colourful archdukes. Sexual dichromatism is however extreme, with the two sexes appearing entirely different. The males' dorsal wing surfaces are a dramatic combination of velvety black forewings and metallic blue green to violet covering the margins of the forewings and hindwings. The females' dorsal wing surfaces are a drab brown, with small yellowish white spots. Both sexes have drab ventral wings, presumably as a means of camouflage. The dramatic colours of the males are thought to play a role in intraspecies communication, both by signalling to other males when defending territory, and by attracting females.

L. pardalis and L. dirtea, two commonly farmed species, are nearly identical and often confused, but they can be distinguished by their differing antennae: the dorsal surface of L. pardalis' antennae tips are yellow orange, whereas they are black in L. dirtea.
Life cycle

Caterpillars of the genus are protected from predators by their long spinous bristles. Archduke chrysalids are pale green and angular in shape; they may be up to 30 mm in length. Calophyllum trees are host to the caterpillars of Southeast Asian archdukes.

The observed readiness of Southeast Asian species to feed on both decaying fruit (of Garcinia tree species) and the nectar of flowers suggests that these species inhabit the forest periphery. Because both types of food are common in this habitat, the Southeast Asian archdukes have not become specialised in feeding on one or the other, as is usual in butterflies. Archdukes are found primarily in virgin forests and are attracted to sunlit areas such as clearings and paths.
Butterfly farming

Several archduke species are raised in large numbers on butterfly farms for the specimen collecting market and for live sale to butterfly conservatories. The most commonly farmed species are L. pardalis and L. dirtea.

In alphabetical order:[1]

Lexias acutipenna Chou & Li, 1994
Lexias aeetes (Hewitson, 1861)
Lexias aegle (Doherty, 1891)
Lexias aeropa (Linnaeus, 1758) – orange-banded plane
Lexias albopunctata (Crowley, 1895)
Lexias bangkana (Hagen, 1892)
Lexias canescens (Butler, [1869]) - yellow archduke
Lexias cyanipardus (Butler, [1869]) – great archduke
Lexias damalis (Erichson, 1834)
Lexias dirtea (Fabricius, 1793) – archduke
Lexias elna (van de Poll, 1895)
Lexias hikarugenzi Tsukada & Nishiyama, 1980
Lexias immaculata (Snellen, 1890)
Lexias panopus C. & R. Felder, 1861
Lexias pardalis (Moore, 1878)
Lexias perdix (Butler, 1884)
Lexias satrapes C. & R. Felder, 1861


"Lexias Boisduval, 1832" at Markku Savela's Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms

Harris, M. (2003). The Archduke reigns. ISU Extension News Release. Retrieved 20 May 2005 from
Missouri Botanical Garden Butterfly House. (2005). The Archduke - Male. Retrieved May 20, 2005 from
Savela, M. (2005). Limenitidinae. Retrieved 20 May 2005 from

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