Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Archaeoprepona demophon, Medellin,
The Charaxinae are a group of robust, medium to large Nymphalids
characterised by having a rapid and powerful flight, stout bodies,
and a habit of feeding at dung and carrion. They are represented in
Africa by Charaxes,
Euxanthe, in the Oriental and Australian regions by
Polyura; and in the neotropics by genera including
Agrias, Prepona, and
Archaeoprepona. There are 7 species in
Prepona and 8 in
Prepona are very similar above, being
dark brown with dazzling turquoise or blue bands. They can be
distinguished by examining the underside hindwings. In
Archaeoprepona there is a tiny
submarginal ocellus in each cell, but in
Prepona the ocellus near the apex, and the one near the
tornus, are both greatly enlarged. Another difference is that
Prepona males have tufts of yellow
androconial scales on the hind-wings whereas in
Archaeoprepona these are black.
In 1814 Hübner committed a faux pas by giving a newly described
species the name demophoon, almost
identical to the name demophon already
used by Linnaeus for another species 56 years earlier in 1758.
Archaeoprepona demophoon is distributed
from Mexico to Bolivia.
This species is found in forested habitats at elevations between
To be completed.
Males perch on tree trunks or on foliage, sitting facing
head-downwards and with wings half open. They take part in impressive
aerial sorties, chasing each other in broad circles around the tree
tops. After each sortie they each return to their original perch.
Both sexes commonly feed at sap runs, rotting fruit, and less commonly
at urine, dung or carrion. They descend from the tree tops in a series
of steps, pausing for a few minutes at various points on the tree
trunk or on foliage.