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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Orcynia Hairstreak
Contrafacia imma  PRITTWITZ, 1865
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - EUMAEINI
Contrafacia imma, male, Imataca, Venezuela Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
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 Contrafacia was erected by Johnson in 1989 to accommodate a set of 7 species which, in contrast with most other Eumaeines, lack androconia on the male forewings. The species name imma pre-dates orcynia and various other synonyms.
Contrafacia imma occurs from Mexico to Paraguay and Argentina.
Habitats
This species occurs in rainforest and cloudforest habitats up to an elevation of about 1800m.
Lifecycle
Unknown, as is the case with almost all Eumaeini.
Adult behaviour

Like all Hairstreaks this is a highly seasonal species, being very common in the late dry season, but decidedly scarce at other times of year. The butterfly is invariably encountered singly, and usually sighted in flight when it is seen as a tiny flash of brilliant blue against the dark background of the forest understorey. The rapid erratic flight is difficult to follow with the eye. The butterflies settle on foliage to imbibe honey dew, and less frequently on leaf litter on the forest floor.

 

 

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