Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
male, Catarata Bayoz, La Merced, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
Pyrginae, popularly known as Flats or Spreadwings, are a
cosmopolitan subfamily distributed across temperate and tropical
habitats throughout the world. In the Americas there are 990
About 580 species are placed within the tribe
The genera Bolla and
Staphylus include a combined total of
82 small dark species with an obscure pattern of lighter markings.
Most members of both genera have a series of between 1 and 6 small
white subapical spots on the forewings, and many are peppered with
grey or yellowish scales. It is very difficult to distinguish
between the genera, let alone to identify the species, but
Bolla tend to be slightly larger, the
shape of their hindwings is less wavy, and their heads and palpi are
In some species including Bolla cupreiceps,
Staphylus vulgata and
S. ceos the head and palpi are covered
in metallic golden or yellow scales.
Bolla cupreiceps is velvety black,
peppered with cream, and has a concave trio of white spots near the
apex of the forewings. There is a pale, suffused band towards the
outer edge of fore and hind wings. The head, palpi and thoracic
"collar" are bright golden yellow.
The butterfly is found
commonly throughout tropical and subtropical regions of Central and
South America from Mexico to Bolivia.
This species is found in disturbed rainforest and cloudforest
habitats, including clearings, riverbanks and roadsides, at
altitudes between about 200-1800m.
To be completed.
are usually encountered in one's and two's, either when basking on low
foliage, or when imbibing mineralised moisture from river beaches or
the edges of puddles or streams.