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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Irmina Sister
Adelpha irmina  DOUBLEDAY, 1848
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - LIMENITIDINAE
Tribe - LIMENITIDINI
Adelpha irmina, Tatama NP, Colombia Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
Adelpha butterflies are colloquially known as 'Sisters'. In terms of appearance many 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.
While it is easy to recognise the genus, determining the individual species can sometimes be very difficult - a problem exacerbated by misidentified museum specimens and mislabelled illustrations in many entomological books. The only reliable identification resource is 'The genus Adelpha' by Keith Willmott. Accurate identification requires meticulous examination of the configuration of the orange markings in the subapical area on the forewing, and of the precise shape of the vertical bands. It is also essential in most cases to examine the patterning on the underside. 
Adelpha irmina can be confused with several other species including saundersii, ximena, boreas and salus. These species are distinguished from one another by close examination of the pattern formed by the orange band on the forewings, and by differences in the underside markings.
Adelpha irmina is known from Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.
Habitats
This species occurs in cloudforest at elevations between about 600-1800m.
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Adult behaviour

This species is usually encountered as solitary males, seen flitting and gliding in sunny areas in the vicinity of waterfalls and streams. The butterflies periodically alight to imbibe moisture from damp ground, and usually feed with wings outspread or half open.

 

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