Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - EPICALIINI
subtribe - EPICALIINA
Eunica pusilla, Pauti, Junin, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
Eunica contains 40 species colloquially
known as Purplewings due to the dazzling purple or metallic blue
iridescence on the uppersides of the males. Females lack the
iridescence, and are typically a dull earthy brown colour with a
diagonal white band across the forewings. The underside hindwings of
most species are
beautifully marbled, and bear a
distinctive arrangement of ocelli.
Eunica pusilla is
distributed from Costa Rica to Bolivia and south-east Brazil.
This is primarily a lowland rainforest species found at altitudes
between about 200-1300m.
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
Males are often found imbibing
moisture from damp sand at the side of streams and rivers, where they
sometimes gather in dozens or even in hundreds on hot afternoons.