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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Agathina Emperor
Doxocopa agathina  CRAMER, 1777
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - APATURINAE
Doxocopa agathina, male, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
There are 15 Doxocopa species, all confined to Central and South America.
Males of this medium sized butterfly reflect a brilliant purple iridescence from the upperside wings, a characteristic shared with it's European cousins the Purple Emperors Apatura iris, ilia and metis. Females lack the iridescence, and instead have a broad orange diagonal band across the forewings. There is also an alternative form of the female in which the diagonal band is white.
Doxocopa agathina, is the commonest and most widespread member of the genus. It can be found from Colombia to Paraguay.
Habitats
The butterfly breeds in rainforest habitats at altitudes from sea level to about 1600m.
Lifecycle
The caterpillar feeds on Celtis species ( Ulmaceae ). When fully grown it is green, strongly tapered towards the anal segment, and has a pair of forward-projecting horns on its head.
The chrysalis is probably similar to that of other Apaturines, which are typically flattened laterally, arched dorsally, and superbly camouflaged as living or dead foliage.
Doxocopa agathina, male, Rio Pindayo, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

Males are often seen on sunny forest tracks or along the beds of dry streams, imbibing mineral rich moisture from rocks, or feeding at decaying fruit. They also visit dung and carrion.

Females are much scarcer and rarely seen, as they spend their time high in the forest canopy.

Doxocopa agathina, male, Catarata Bayoz, Le Merced, Peru Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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