Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Dyscophellus porcius FELDER
& FELDER, 1862
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - EUDAMINI
Dyscophellus porcius, Satipo, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
The genus Dyscophellus comprises of 9
large crepuscular skippers, all species being confined to the
neotropical region. The wings of males of generally fulvous or
reddish-brown in colour, and feature small hyaline "windows" and
vague dark markings. Females have dark earthy-brown wings which are
broader and more rounded than those of males. They have several
large hyaline windows on the forewings, and a regular pattern of
smaller windows on the hindwings.
In common with many
other members of the Pyrginae, the
leading edge ( costa ) of the forewing of
Dyscophellus males has a fold within which are androconial
scales. These disseminate pheromones which are used to entice
females to copulate.
is found in eastern Peru, and in the upper Amazon basin of Brazil.
It probably also occurs in Ecuador and Bolivia.
This species is found in tropical rainforest at altitudes between
In common with
other crepuscular skippers the butterflies
habitually hide under leaves in daylight hours, with their
wings held fully outspread.
As dusk falls they become very active, whirring about rapidly along
forest trails, and at a glance can be mistaken for hawkmoths. Males
will visit dung, urine-tainted soil, peccary wallows and other
unsavoury sources of mineralised moisture, together with
Macroglossinae hawkmoths and other crepuscular skippers including
Porphyrogenes, Bungalotis and
Nascus. Although the butterflies are probably oblivious
of each other's presence, there is a general impression of a
free-for-all mêlée - an illusion of aggression in their behaviour -
hence the popular name "night fighter" skippers.