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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Pusilla Purplewing
Eunica pusilla  BATES, 1864
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - EPICALIINI
subtribe - EPICALIINA
Eunica pusilla, Pauti, Junin, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
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. 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.
Habitats
This is primarily a lowland rainforest species found at altitudes between about 200-1300m.
Lifecycle
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 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.

 

 

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