Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - VICTORINIINI
Anartia jatrophae, Pantiacolla, Rio Alto Madre de Dios, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
includes many of the most well known and beautiful Palaearctic
butterflies such as the Red Admiral
Vanessa atalanta, Painted Lady
Vanessa cardui, Camberwell Beauty
Nymphalis antiopa, Comma
Polygonia c-album, and Peacock
Inachis io. Among the neotropical
representatives are Colobura,
The genus Anartia is closely allied to
Junonia and its Afro-Oriental
equivalent Precis and shares their
liking for sunny open habitats in disturbed woodland.
There are 5
Anartia species of which
jatrophae is the commonest and most
widespread. The others are lyrtea from
Haiti, chrysopelea from Cuba,
fatima from central America and the
beautiful black, red and white amathea
from mainland South America.
freshly emerged jatrophae has a
beautiful mother-of-pearl luminescence that is difficult to
reproduce in a photograph, but after only a short while the colours
fade to a dull greyish-white.
is distributed from the southern USA to Bolivia and Argentina. It is
also found on most Caribbean islands.
Anartia jatrophae, Tatama NP, Colombia © Adrian Hoskins
This species is found in disturbed habitats such as gardens, forest
clearings, orchards, farmland and grassy riverbanks. It is primarily
a lowland insect, but occurs up to an altitude of about 1500m.
The eggs are ribbed,
yellowish-green in colour, and laid singly on leaves of
and other Acanthaceae; also on Bacopa
and Lindernia ( Scrophulariacae ) and
Lippia ( Verbenaceae ).
Anartia jatrophae, Yarinacocha, Ucayali, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
This is a
sun-loving species. It is active mainly in the mornings when it can be
seen basking on the ground or on low foliage. Later in the day when
temperatures rise it rests in semi-shaded situations at the forest
edge, or sits in open sunlight with the wings held erect. In the late
afternoon when the temperature begins to dip, the butterflies commonly
bask at the top of coarse grasses and herbage.