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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Godart's Purplewing
Eunica sydonia  GODART, 1824
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - EPICALIINI
subtribe - EPICALIINA

Eunica sydonia, male, Catarata Bayoz, Le Merced, 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.
In males of sydonia the purple is confined primarily to the basal two-thirds of the forewings, which have a blackish-brown ground colour and are otherwise unmarked.
Eunica sydonia is distributed from Panama to Peru.
Habitats
This is species is found in primary rainforest at altitudes between 0-900m.
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

Both sexes spend most of their lives in the canopy but males sometimes descend singly to feed at rotting fruits on the forest floor, or to imbibe mineralised moisture from the edges of puddles.

 

 

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