Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - RIODININI
Ancyluris aulestes, Tingo Maria, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
The genus Ancyluris comprises of 16
beautiful tailed Riodinids, all confined to the neotropical region.
They are closely related to the genus Rhetus,
so much so that the females of Ancyluris
aristodorus and Rhetus periander
are almost indistinguishable, at least from the uppersides.
Males of most Ancyluris species have
black uppersides with red bands. In females these bands are broader
and paler. In jurgensenii the bands on
the female are pure white, and in aristodorus
and formosissima they are white in both
sexes. Males of all species have a blue iridescence on the underside
of the wings.
Ancyluris aulestes occurs in Colombia,
Venezuela, Surinam, Ecuador, Brazil and Peru.
This is a lowland and mid-elevation rainforest species found at
altitudes between about 200-1000m.
I have no data
regarding aulestes but the lifecycle is
likely to be similar to that of other
Ancyluris species as follows: The eggs are white and highly
sculptured. They are laid singly in fissures on the stems or twigs
of the foodplants. Egg-laying females tend to settle high up, then
walk backwards down the stem, probing with the ovipositor in various
places before depositing each egg. The larval foodplants are trees
in the families Melastomaceae and Euphorbiaceae. The larvae are
gregarious, living in small groups of mixed instars. They are
reported to be cannibalistic.
Males can be found imbibing moisture from
bare soil or sandy riverbanks in early morning and late afternoon.
They are more likely to be found in shady areas than in full sunshine.
In late morning they perch under the leaves of trees or bushes. Any
passing Ancyluris of either sex is
intercepted and challenged. After sorties males return to their
original position. Both sexes nectar at Lantana,
Eupatorium and other flowers.