Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - EUDAMINI
Yarinacocha, Ucayali, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
tribe Eudamini includes 44 genera in the neotropical region, amongst
which are the Long-tailed Skippers Urbanus,
Aguna; and such familiar genera as
The genus Astraptes,
comprises of 29 large species characterised by having chocolate
brown wings with very short stubby tails on the hindwings. Most
species have a diagonal hyaline stripe across the forewings and a
group of 3 small hyaline spots near the apex. In the majority of
species the head, thorax, abdomen and wing bases are covered with
long fur-like gleaming metallic blue ( or in the case of talus,
green ) scales.
Astraptes talus is a widely distributed
species found from Mexico to Peru. It also occurs on several of the
Caribbean islands including Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Trinidad.
This species occurs in forested habitats at altitudes between sea
level and about 800 metres.
have a very rapid whirring flight, often circling widely at a height
of about 2 metres. They commonly settle on living foliage or dead leaf
litter to feed at bird droppings, and at such times become so
engrossed that they are oblivious to human presence. When feeding they
exude droplets of water from their abdomens, dropping or squirting it
onto the bird droppings to dissolve and liquefy them, enabling the
juices to be sucked up using the long proboscis, which is extended
under the abdomen.