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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Cat's-eye Sapphire
Lasaia arsis  STAUDINGER, 1887
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - RIODININI
Lasaia arsis, male, Rio Shima, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The genus Lasaia contains 14 species, all of which are found exclusively in the neotropics. They are small butterflies, averaging about 30mm in wingspan. Males have extremely reflective wing scales, shimmering in metallic turquoise, blue or steely grey according to species. Females are rarely seen. They are generally a dull earthy brown colour. Both sexes have a similar pattern of black spots.
Lasaia species can be difficult to tell apart, so close attention has to be paid to the configuration of the black spots, and to the markings on the underside. The "cat's eye" marking on the leading edge of the hindwings is found in three species - meris, pseudomeris and arsis. In pseudomeris the black spots on the hindwings are greatly reduced in size. The other 2 species arsis and meris can be told apart by the shape of the hindwing, which is more convex in arsis.
Lasaia arsis is found in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
Habitats
Lasaia arsis is found in rainforest and cloudforest habitats at altitudes between about 200-800m.
Lasaia arsis, male, Rio Shima, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Lifecycle
The eggs are flattened, and resemble a pair of stacked pies. I have no other information regarding the lifecycle. The foodplant of the related Lasaia sula is Albizia ( Fabaceae ) so it is likely that other Lasaia species feed on related plants.
Lasaia arsis, male, Rio Shima, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

This species is scarcer than it's sapphire blue cousin Lasaia agesilas, and is generally encountered as male singletons imbibing mineral-rich moisture from sandbanks. Males are highly active in sunny weather, with a very rapid flight close to the ground. Females are rarely seen.

Lasaia arsis, male, Rio Shima, Satipo, Peru Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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