Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Large Slate Hairstreak
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - EUMAEINI
Northern Range, Trinidad
© Keith Grant
Almost all neotropical Theclinae species are placed in the Eumaeini.
The tribe is not particularly well represented in collections, so
until fairly recently a high percentage remained unstudied, and were
inappropriately filed away in the 'convenience' genus
Thecla. Many taxonomists have attempted
to rationalise the systematics of the Eumaeini, the most recent
being Robbins who published a revision in 2004, reclassifying the
taxa into 83 genera. Currently there are 1058 known species. Taking
into account their small size, secretive behaviour, and the great
similarities between many species, it is estimated that about
another 200 species probably remain to be discovered.
The genus Brangas comprises of about
16-20 species, all of which are neotropical in distribution, with
the majority of species being confined to northern South America.
Several of the species were recently discovered by Robbins and have
not yet been scientifically described.
The males of all
Brangas species have dazzling metallic
blue uppersides, with a narrow blackish edging at the apex. Females
have more rounded forewings. Their uppersides are a dull earthy
brown colour, with a slight pale blue sheen at the base of the
is found in Surinam, Venezuela and Trinidad.
This species is found in rainforest at altitudes between about
This appears to be unknown.
butterflies are rare, and invariably encountered as singletons. They
sometimes visit the flowers of Eupatorium