Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - HELICOPINI
Helicopis gnidus, Ecuador
© Tony Hoare
Helicopis Cupids are closely related to
Anteros but are quite different in appearance and behaviour.
The genus comprises of 3
species - cupido,
gnidus and endymiaena. All 3
have impressive tail-like extensions to the hindwings, and a set of
silvery spots. The markings on the hindwings of
gnidus, in combination with the long
tails produce a spider-like pattern which probably serves as a form
of defensive disguise.
Helicopis gnidus is found in Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam,
Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. There are 7 named subspecies.
This species is found in primary rainforest, typically between
200-800m above sea level.
It is usually encountered in marshy habitats e.g. around the margins
To be completed.
other Helicopis species, both sexes tend
to be found when at rest under the leaves of tall vegetation growing
around the edges of lagoons.