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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Lilac-banded Euselasia
Euselasia perisama  HALL & LAMAS, 2001
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - EUSELASIINAE
Tribe - EUSELASIINI
Euselasia perisama, Velo de la Novia, Peru Dave Griffiths
Introduction
The sub-family Euselasiinae is confined entirely to the neotropics. There are 172 known species of which 167 are placed in the genus Euselasia. A few are widespread across Amazonia but most are localised and uncommon. The adults are characterised by having large eyes and small palpi. Most species have rounded wings. The uppersides of males are blackish with patches of metallic orange or blue according to species. Females are dull brown above, with patches of whitish or pale brown. In most species the undersides of both sexes are pale, with one or more vertical bands or lines. In several species including orfita there is also a dark ocellus near the border of the hindwing.
Euselasia perisama has a wingspan of about 40mm. There are several other Euselasia species with a similar banded underside, including clithra, orfita and phedica, but only perisama has the beautiful purple-edged red band, and prominent blue ocellus.
Euselasia perisama is endemic to the eastern Andes of Peru.
Habitats
This species inhabits mid-elevation rainforest at elevations between about 300-1200m.
Lifecycle
I have no information specific to perisama but the lifecycle will probably be similar to that of other Euselasia species : The eggs are frustum-shaped and laid singly under the leaves of Sapotaceae, Melastomataceae, Myrtaceae or Clusiaceae. The larvae are compact in form and covered in tufts of short setae. In several species they are gregarious and move in a processionary manner. Unlike members of the subfamily Riodininae the larvae of Euselasiinae are not associated with ants.
Adult behaviour

Euselasia males are noted for their habit of spending most of their lives hiding under leaves. Some species such as gelanor and angulata tend to sit under the leaves of low vegetation, while others such as euriteus and perisama tend to settle higher up, on or under the leaves of trees at heights of between 2-5 metres. Often males of several Euselasia species will occupy a particular tree but each species will settle at a different height and fly at a different time of the morning.

Although they may appear to be hiding, they are in fact "perching" i.e. waiting to ambush any other Euselasia that flies past. If the ambushed butterfly turns out to be another male a short aerial battle takes place after which the intruding male is usually ousted, and the conquering male returns to sit beneath the leaf where he originally perched. Perching males hold their wings erect, but often with the hindwings very slightly apart, enabling a glimpse of the metallic upperside.

The flight is rapid and erratic. Males are active early in the day, but females fly and oviposit in the afternoon. Both sexes visit flowers and extrafloral nectaries. The butterflies fly throughout the year but are commonest in the late dry season and during drier periods in the rainy season.

 

 

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