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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Golden-headed Sootywing
Bolla cupreiceps  MABILLE, 1891
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
Bolla cupreiceps, male, Catarata Bayoz, La Merced, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The 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 species.
About 580 species are placed within the tribe Pyrgini.
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 smaller.
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.
Habitats
This species is found in disturbed rainforest and cloudforest habitats, including clearings, riverbanks and roadsides, at altitudes between about 200-1800m.
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies 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.

 

 

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