Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Magnificent Leafwing
Coenophlebia archidona  HEWITSON, 1860
subfamily - CHARAXINAE

Coenophlebia archidona, Satipo, Chanchamayo valley, Peru Adrian Hoskins
The tribe Anaeini comprises of 87 species in the genera Coenophlebia, Consul, Memphis, Siderone, Polygrapha, Anaea, Fountainea and Zaretis. All are neotropical in distribution, although 3 species
( Anaea troglodyta, Fountainea glycerium and Memphis pithyusa ) have ranges that extend into the southern USA. The butterflies are characterised by having a very rapid and strong flight. They have stout bodies and falcate wings. On the upper surface most species are black, marked with bands of orange, bright red, or lustrous blue according to species. In the case of Coenophlebia archidona the upper wing surface is orange, with a marbling of dark brown around the apex and outer margins.
The undersides of all species in the Anaeini are cryptically patterned and bear a strong resemblance to the dead leaves, tree bark or boulders on which they settle. Coenophlebia archidona is the grand master of disguise, shaped and coloured like a desiccated fallen leaf. The wings have markings that very effectively imitate the midrib and leaf veins; and clusters of tiny irregularly shaped transparent spots that perfectly simulate holes nibbled by small insects. There are few, if any, other butterflies anywhere in the world that can match the impeccable disguise of this species.
Coenophlebia archidona is found in Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia.
Coenophlebia archidona, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins
This species inhabits rainforest and transitional cloudforest at elevations up to about 800m.
To be completed.
Coenophlebia archidona, wing detail Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

Like all members of the Anaeini this butterfly is strongly attracted to decaying matter on the forest floor. When feeding it seems to be extremely 'confident' about the effectiveness of its camouflage, and is extremely tolerant of disturbance by bees, wasps, ants and butterfly photographers !

The short needle-like proboscis of this species suggests that it is adapted for piercing fruit, which may be the main source of sustenance. I have not observed the butterfly at fallen fruit however, so it is probable that it feeds on ripening fruit in the tree tops.

Coenophlebia archidona, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins



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