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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Starry Night Metalmark
Echydna punctata  FELDER & FELDER, 1861
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - RIODININI

Echydna punctata, Pantiacolla, Rio Alto Madre de Dios, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The genus Echydna comprises of only 2 species. It is closely allied to the similarly marked Calydna, which includes another 18 species. The butterflies are all very small, with black or dark brown wings marked in Echydna with a regular pattern of small white spots. In Calydna the white spots tend to be larger and irregular, and the butterflies also often have metallic blue markings.
Echydna punctata occurs from Colombia to Peru, southern Brazil and Bolivia.
Habitats
The butterflies are found in wet lowland rainforests at altitudes between about 200-800m, They tend to be seen in small groups at intervals along damp and dark forest paths, and seem commonest in areas dominated by bamboo.

Echydna punctata, Pantiacolla, Rio Alto Madre de Dios, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Echydna punctata, Pantiacolla, Rio Alto Madre de Dios, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

The Starry Night Riodinid is often seen along dark damp forest paths, where it habitually settles with wings open on ferns and other low vegetation. It is also commonly seen on damp ground, imbibing dissolved minerals. It is almost inevitable that when one Echydna is seen, others will be found very close by - sometimes in aggregations of 30 or more at places where peccaries urinate along shady forest tracks.

Echydna punctata, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins

The butterfly is more commonly seen on cloudy days. On sunny days it tends to fly early in the morning when light levels are low. Nevertheless I have occasionally seen it mud-puddling on open sandbanks on misty mornings.

 

 

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