Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
tribe - PYRRHOPYGINI
subfamily Pyrrhopyginae comprises 163 known species, most of which
are found only in the tropical rainforests and cloudforests of South
America, although a few reach as far north as Mexico, and a single
reaches Arizona. They are
characterised by having bodies which are very large in proportion to
the wings. Other characteristics include a massive muscular thorax,
compressed abdominal segments, prominent eyes, and antennae with
There are 17 genera, including Jemadia,
Metardaris and Gunayan.
Gunayan comprises 3 species, the others being
timaeus. All were included for many years in
Pyrrhopyge but were reclassified in
2002 by Mielke. The 3 Gunayan species
are similar in appearance to certain Yanguna
species ( note that Mielke constructed the name
Gunayan as an anagram of
is distributed throughout the Amazonian region.
This species appears to be restricted to rainforest at altitudes
between sea level and about 1000m.
I have no
data relating to the lifecycle of Gunayan.
Fazenda Rancho Grande, Rondonia, Brazil
© Andrew Neild
The individual in the photograph
above was found in shade, at bird droppings near an almost dry pool
just after dawn in September ( late dry season ). Most other records I
know of are also of males, either attending bird droppings or settling
on sweaty clothing.