Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Diaethria pandama, Mexico
genus Diaethria is confined to Central
and South America - 3 species are found in Mexico while the
remainder are widely distributed across the Amazon and Andes.
uppersides of all Diaethria species are
black, marked on the forewings with a diagonal band of metallic blue
or green. In some species this colour is repeated on the hindwings
in the form of a submarginal band.
The '88' numerals
which appear on the underside hindwings of
pandama are present in all 12 of the
Diaethria species but vary in colour, thickness and shape. In
clymena for example the markings are
quite thick, and often form an '88' figure, while in others such as
euclides they are thin and form an '89'.
Diaethria pandama is a Central American
species, found from Mexico to Panama.
This species is
found in cloudforest habitats at elevations between about 800-1600m.
The eggs are whitish, and laid singly on the leaves of the foodplant
is usually seen singly.
As with all
Diaethria species the males are strongly attracted to
urine-soaked sand, and also imbibe dissolved minerals from damp soil,
road surfaces, stones and rocks. They are very active butterflies,
easily disturbed, and rarely settle for more than a few seconds at a
time in one spot, although they will return repeatedly to the same
patch of ground.