Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Rufous Purplewing
Eunica carias  HEWITSON, 1857
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
subtribe - EPICALIINA
Eunica carias, Tatama NP, Colombia Dave Griffiths
The genus Eunica contains 40 species colloquially known as Purplewings due to the dazzling purple or metallic blue iridescence on the uppersides of the males. The ventral hindwings of many species are beautifully marbled, and bear a distinctive arrangement of ocelli.
Males of Eunica carias lack the purple sheen normally found in this genus. The upperside is a dark earthy brown, with a suffused rufous patch extending across the outer half of the wings. Females are similar but have a white bar across the forewings from the tornus to mid-way across the costa.
Eunica carias is distributed from Costa Rica to Peru.
This species is found in rainforest and cloudforest at elevations betwqeen about 400-1600m.
The lifecycle of Eunica species in general is poorly known and I can find no published details of the early stages of this species. The eggs of most Eunica species are laid singly on the flowers and leaf buds of trees including Mabea ( Euphorbiaceae ) and Bursera ( Burseraceea ). The larvae are likely to vary considerably in colouration and pattern from species to species, but generally have short spines along the sides, and a single row of longer erect spines on the last 3 segments of the body.
Adult behaviour

Males are usually encountered singly amidst multi-species aggregations imbibing moisture on river beaches or at the edges of puddles on open sunny tracks.



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