Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - EUMAEINI
Tingo Maria, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
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 Calycopis comprises of 72
species, variously distributed from Mexico to Paraguay. The males of
most species have metallic blue uppersides, while the females in
most cases tend to be a dull earthy brown colour. Both sexes of all
Calycopis species and have convex outer
margins to the forewings. The undersides bear a dark post median
line, and usually a short vertical line at the end of the discal
cells. The hindwings have a distinctively shaped wiggly "hairstreak"
post-median line, and either one or two black-centred red spots at
the tornus. The hindwings also bear 3 short white-tipped tails. Many
species can be identified easily by studying the differences in the
size, shape and position of the red markings, but there are many
others that can only reliably be distinguished from one another by
examining the genitalia microscopically.
gentilla is found in Brazil and Peru.
This species is found in primary and secondary rainforest at
altitudes between about 200-900m above sea level.
butterflies probably spend most of their lives at or near ground
level, and are thus popularly known as Groundstreaks ( the "streak"
part referring to the thin lines on the underside ). They seem to
obtain all their sustenance from moisture imbibed from the ground, or
from the surface of leaves.