Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - EPIPHILINI
subtribe - EPIPHILINA
Asterope degandii, Rio Pindayo, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
7 species in the genus
all share the typical Biblidinae characteristics of rounded wings,
and boldly but simply marked uppersides.
All Asterope species
have black uppersides, with a strong blue or greenish sheen. In the
case of degandii the male has the outer
area of the wings is a shimmering and highly reflective blue, while
in the female the outer wings are steely green. The underside
hindwings of all Asterope species are
grey, overlaid to a greater or lesser extent with a metallic
greenish or bluish hue, and marked with a very distinctive pattern
of black spots. In some species including
degandii the basal area of the underside wings are bright
occurs in the foothills of the eastern Andes, and the lowlands of
the upper Amazon basin, in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
This is a lowland rainforest species occuring at altitudes between
are elusive, and nearly always encountered singly. Males tend to be
seen more often in the afternoon, when they perch on the foliage of
trees at a height of about 3 metres, periodically making short rapid
flights to investigate passing butterflies.
They are not often seen on the
ground, but occasionally visit urine-soaked sand on well vegetated
sunny river beaches.