Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - CALLICORINI
male, Satipo, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
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
is found throughout Amazonia, from Colombia to Brazil, Peru and
Lowland tropical rainforest.
The butterfly is frequently found close to habitations.
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.
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.
often visit sandbanks to imbibe dissolved minerals from urine-soaked
ground, and also feed at rotting fruit, but are not known to visit
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 !
cynosura, male, Rio
Madre de Dios, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins