Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - ERYNNINI
Ebrietas anacreon, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
Pyrginae, popularly known as Flats or Spreadwings, are a
cosmopolitan subfamily distributed across temperate and tropical
habitats throughout the world. In the Americas there are 990 species.
There are 7 species in the genus
Ebrietas, which is closely allied to
Cycloglypha and Gorgythion.
Members of these genera are characterised by their small size (
circa 3cms wingspan ), large heads, and by the way in which they
bask with their marbled brown wings folded downwards halfway along
with a great many other Pyrgine skippers,
Ebrietas anacreon is a butterfly that looks dull and
uninteresting from a distance, but when seen closely is a creature
of great beauty, with wings reflecting subtle shades of blue or
purple when the sunlight catches them at the right angle.
butterfly occurs in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana,
Surinam, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
This is a lowland rainforest species found commonly at altitudes
between sea level and about 800m.
Generally however, Pyrgine butterflies lay their eggs singly on the
leaves of low growing herbaceous plants or bushes. The larvae are
typically dull green or brownish, with thin longitudinal lines along
the back and sides, and with black shiny heads. The pupae are
usually dark and smooth, with the wing cases in a contrasting tone
or colour. They are normally formed within silken tents formed by
spinning together the leaves of the foodplant.
usually seen singly or in two's or three's when imbibing moisture from
sandbanks, sunlit paths or road surfaces. At such times they tend to
flit about over a small patch of ground until they find a suitable
feeding spot, after which they wall about probing the ground with the
proboscis. If undisturbed they will remain at their chosen feeding
spot for several minutes.
Both sexes can
also be found flying around bushes and shrubs in forest edge habitats,
with males occupying territorial perches on the terminal leaves of