Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Callicore texa maimuna
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - CALLICORINI
texa maimuna, Satipo, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
There are about 20 species in the genus
Callicore, all of which bear
distinctive and graphic patterns on the underside hindwings, often
resembling numbers or letters of the alphabet. The uppersides of all
species are blackish, marked on the forewings with bright red or
orange bands. The hindwings of several species also have red or
orange markings but in most species they are plain black, with a
very reflective brilliant blue sheen.
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.
In Callicore texa maimuna
the upperside forewings of both sexes are black with a broad red
swathe running diagonally and a pinkish crescent at the apex. The
hindwings are dark brown, with a row of metallic blue submarginal
spots which are more pronounced in the female. In some subspecies
such as maximilla ( Brazil ) there is a
large red patch on the upperside hindwing.
is distributed from Mexico to Bolivia. The illustrated subspecies
maimuna is found in the upper Amazonian
region of Peru.
at altitudes between circa 200-900m.
I have no
information specific to texa. In most
Callicore species the eggs are white,
and are laid singly on Serjania,
Allophylus or other Sapindaceae.
often visit river beaches to imbibe dissolved minerals.
sunny days they
habitually land on the arms, legs and backs of humans to imbibe sweat.
For photographers this behaviour can be maddening, as no matter how
many times you shoo the butterfly off and try to cajole it into
settling on a natural substrate, it insists on returning immediately
to land on your trousers, shoulder, boots or camera bag. Moreover the
longer you spend trying to get a photograph the braver the butterfly
becomes, and the more likely it is to glue itself to your back or the
top of your head !