Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - RIODININI
briola, Pucayacu, Peru
© Chris Orpin
There are 6 Chamaelimnas species. All
have velvety black wings with a large diagonal yellow patch on the
forewings. Several species such as cercides
and briola have additional yellow
patches. The aptly named splendens has
a bright orange band on the forewings and a large patch of metallic
blue at the base of the hindwings.
are very similar in appearance to several other metalmarks in the
and Setabis. There are also
several Pyrgine skippers and numerous day-flying moths from the
families Geometridae, Notodontidae and Arctiidae which share a
similar pattern. Chamaelimnas can be
distinguished from all of these by their resting posture and wing
shape, and by the very long, straight and slightly clubbed antennae.
has 4 subspecies - briola,
meridionalis and urbana. Each of
these subspecies is subject to a wide range of variation in the
markings e.g. the yellow hindwing patch is sometimes split into two
halves or may be entirely absent; and the forewings may or may not
have a yellow spot or streak within the discal cell.
range of briola covers eastern Ecuador,
Peru, Brazil and Paraguay.
This species inhabits primary rainforest at altitudes between about
Males are usually encountered as
singletons basking on foliage or on the ground. They adopt the typical
Riodinid resting posture, with their wings held flat, and the antennae
held close together and directed forward. I have not observed the
female, which is rare in collections and probably spends most of its
life high in the tree tops.
briola, Satipo, Peru
© Emily Halsey