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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
"BD" butterfly
Callicore cynosura   DOUBLEDAY, 1847
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - CALLICORINI
Callicore cynosura, male, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The common name of this species is derived from the bold markings on the underside hindwings, which resemble the letters "BD". The upperside wings are black, banded with brilliant red.
There are about 20 species in the genus Callicore, all of which bear distinctive and graphic patterns on the underside hindwings. Unfortunately these beautiful butterflies are killed in vast numbers for their wings which are used by the souvenir trade for the production of decorated plates, jewellery, place mats and other trivia.
Callicore cynosura is found throughout Amazonia, from Colombia to Brazil, Peru and Bolivia.
Habitats
Lowland tropical rainforest. The butterfly is frequently found close to habitations.
Lifecycle
The eggs are white, and laid singly on the foliage of Sapindaceae. The caterpillars are green, with short spikes at the tip of the abdomen, and a pair of huge barbed spikes projecting forward from the head. The chrysalis is suspended from a leaf by the cremaster. It has a keeled thorax and a curved abdomen.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies are usually encountered as solitary individuals. They have a rapid and powerful flight over short distances, and often settle on boats, jetties, or on the walls of wooden buildings.

Males often visit sandbanks to imbibe dissolved minerals from urine-soaked ground, and also feed at rotting fruit, but are not known to visit flowers.

In hot sunny weather they habitually settle on the arms and legs of humans to imbibe sweat. For the photographer this behaviour can be maddening, as no matter how many times you try to shoo the butterfly off in the hope that it will resettle on a natural substrate, it insists on landing on your trousers, your shoulder, your boots or on the strap of your camera bag. Moreover the longer you spend trying to get a photograph the tamer the butterfly becomes, and the more it insists on settling on your back or the top of your head !

Callicore cynosura, male, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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