A new subspecies of Neolucia hobartensis (Miskin, 1890) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) from mainland southeastern Australia, with a review of butterfly endemism in montane areas in this region
Neolucia hobartensis albolineata ssp. nov. is illustrated, diagnosed, described and compared with the nominate subspecies N. hobartensis hobartensis (Miskin, 1890) from Tasmania and N. hobartensis monticola Waterhouse & Lyell, 1914 from northern New South Wales, Australia. The new subspecies is restricted to montane areas (mainly >1000 m) in subalpine and alpine habitats on the mainland in southeastern Australia (southern NSW, ACT, VIC) where its larvae specialize on Epacris spp. (Ericaceae). It thus belongs to a distinct set of 22 butterfly taxa that are endemic and narrowly restricted to montane areas (>600 m, but mainly >900 m) on the tablelands and plateaus of mainland southeastern Australia. Monitoring of these taxa, including N. hobartensis ssp., is urgently required to assess the extent to which global climate change, particularly temperature rise and large-scale fire regimes, are key threatening processes.