the Amazon and Andes
Family - RIODINIDAE
Tribe - HELICOPINI
Helicopis gnidus, Ecuador
© Tony Hoare
Helicopis Cupids are closely
related to Sarota and
Anteros but are quite different in
appearance and behaviour.
The genus comprises
of 3 species - cupido,
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 of lagoons.
To be completed.
As with other Helicopis species, both sexes tend to be found when at rest under the leaves of tall
vegetation growing around the edges of lagoons.