Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - COEINI
Historis acheronta, male, Rio Pindayo, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
is one of 12 species in the tribe Coeini, which also includes
There are only 2 species in the genus
Historis, the other being
odius - a larger, more robust species
which is generally much commoner than
is a very widely distributed species, found from Guatemala to
This species, like it's relative odius
occurs in a wide variety of forested habitats, from the deciduous
woodlands of Guatemala, to the wet rainforests of the Amazon basin
and premontane cloudforests of the Andes. It occurs at altitudes
between sea level and about 1000m.
The lifecycle is unknown but is probably very similar to that of
Historis odius as follows :
The egg is pale brown and laid singly on the midrib of a leaf of
Cecropia ( Moraceae ). When small the
larva constructs a chain of droppings along the midrib. The larva
rests at the end of this frass-chain, which extends beyond the tip
of a leaf. The chain seems to act as a tight-rope over which ants
will not walk. It thus prevents the larva from being molested. It
probably also deters parasitoid wasps and flies, making it difficult
for them to oviposit on the larva.
fully grown larva is brown with yellow bands around the segments,
which are adorned with yellowish whorled spines. Another pair of
short whorled spines emerges from the head. The chrysalis is adorned
with whorled spines in the abdominal segments. It bears a pair of
horns on the head which are recurved and appressed to the thorax.
species is usually encountered singly, in forest clearings.
Both sexes visit fermenting fruit,
preferring fruits that have not yet fallen from the trees. Males are
also attracted to sources of minerals, particularly urine tainted
settled the wings are held erect.