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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Ethelda Sister
Adelpha ethelda eponina  HEWITSON, 1867
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - LIMENITIDINAE
Tribe - LIMENITIDINI
Adelpha ethelda eponina, Tatama NP, Colombia Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
Adelpha butterflies are colloquially known as 'Sisters'. In terms of appearance they are reminiscent of the White Admirals ( Limenitis ) of Eurasia, and share with them a fondness for flitting gracefully around the lower branches of trees in the dappled sunlight of the forest.
There are 85 known species of Adelpha, all except two of which are confined to Central and South America. They are characterised by the distinctive black marbled pattern overlaid on a dark brown ground colour; and by having a broad orange or white band on the forewings. In the vast majority of species this band also extends vertically down to the tornus of the hindwings.
Adelpha ethelda occurs as 7 named subspecies distributed variously from Mexico to Ecuador. The Colombian race eponina has a white bar across the forewing, but in all other subspecies the bar is bright orange-brown. Most oddly, the Ecuadorian race A. ethelda ethelda is completely different in appearance, with vertical orange bands across both wings.
Adelpha ethelda eponina, Tatama NP, Colombia Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This species inhabits pre-montane rainforest and cloudforest at elevations between 400-2000m.
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies are usually encountered singly. Males will imbibe mineralised moisture from damp soil, boulders, sandy river beaches or from aphid secretions on foliage.

Adelpha ethelda eponina, Tatama NP, Colombia Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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