Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Glorious Purplewing
Eunica sophonisba  CRAMER, 1780
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
subtribe - EPICALIINA

Eunica sophonisba, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru Adrian Hoskins
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 sophonisba is one of the most spectacular species with an intense blue-purple iridescence. The closely related species chlororhoa is similar but reflects metallic green instead of blue from the upperside hindwings.
Eunica sophonisba occurs in Venezuela, Surinam, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia.
Eunica sophonisba, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru Adrian Hoskins
This species inhabits lowland primary rainforest at elevations between about 100-900m.
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 of this species inhabit light gaps within the forest, and adopt territorial perches, typically on the foliage of low tree branches, from which they dart out at high speed to intercept other passing butterflies. As they do so, the wings reflect shades of blue so intense that they make many Morpho species seem insipid by comparison.



Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution



Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles


Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia


Indian subcontinent

Malaysia & Borneo

Papua New Guinea

Australia & N.Z.

Insects of Britain & Europe

Insects of Amazonia

Moths of the Andes

Saturniidae - Silkmoths

Caterpillars of the World

Butterfly Photography

Recommended Books



Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images






All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host