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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Variable Emesis
Emesis mandana  CRAMER, 1780
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - Incertae sedis
Emesis mandana, male, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The distinctive wing pattern and shape of Emesis make them instantly recognisable as a genus, but some of the 41 species can be difficult to tell apart, requiring close examination of the markings.
Emesis mandana, in common with several other Emesis species is quite variable in colour, ranging from dull reddish to bright orange-yellow. The markings also appear to vary somewhat in intensity from one specimen to another. Due to the variability of markings there is some confusion over the taxonomy and it is possible that "mandana" may actually comprise of several individual species.
The butterfly is common and widespread throughout much of central and South America.
Emesis mandana, male, Pauti, Junin, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This species apparently occurs in primary and secondary forest habitats at altitudes between sea level and at least 2000m, but is most frequently encountered below 800m.
Lifecycle
The eggs are white and highly sculptured. The caterpillars are polyphagous, feeding on Conceveiba
( Euphorbiaceae ), Rhizophora ( Rhizophoraceae ), Theobroma ( Sterculiaceae ) and Anacardium
( Anacardiaceae ).
Adult behaviour

Males are often seen imbibing moisture from unmetalled forest roads, trails, sandbanks, dry river beds and other rocky or sandy habitats. When feeding they usually hold the wings outspread, and often dip their antennae, presumably to "taste" the substrate.

Females are seen less often, but can sometimes be seen basking on low foliage along forest trails.

Emesis mandana, male, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins

Emesis mandana, male, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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