Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - CYRESTINAE
Tribe - CYRESTINI
Marpesia corinna, Otun-Quimbaya, Colombia ©
The genus Marpesia
is confined largely to the neotropical region, but is closely allied
to the Mapwing and Maplet butterflies (
Cyrestis & Chersonesia ) of the
Daggerwings are similar in wing shape to Swordtails and Swallowtails
( Papilionidae ), but the latter have 6 legs whereas
Marpesia and all other Nymphalidae
genera have only 4 legs. Another feature to look for is the
antennae. In all Papilionids these are recurved at the tip, but in
Marpesia they are straight. In total
species, all with the same wing shape as
zerynthia, except for petreus
which has 2 tails on each hindwing and a deeply scalloped outer
margin to it's forewing.
Males of Marpesia
can easily be confused with corita or
marcella, both of which have similar
uppersides. The orange bands however are narrower in
corinna, and only extend slightly onto
the hind-wings. The females are dark brown with white bands on the
forewings of marcella and
corinna, and orange bands on the
forewings of corita.
Marpesia corinna is pale orange with narrow linear white
stripes, while marcella is similar but
has much broader stripes. Both are quite different from
corita which has a pinkish-brown ground
colour marbled and scalloped with purplish on the outer half of the
wings, and marked with irregular white stripes in the basal area.
occurs in the eastern Andes from Colombia to Peru.
This species appears to be confined to cloudforests and transitional
rainforest / cloudforest zones in the eastern Andes, at altitudes
between about 400-1800m.
have no data relating to
but the following characteristics are applicable in general to the
genus Marpesia :
The eggs are white or yellowish, and laid singly
on the foliage of trees and shrubs in the family Moraceae -
Chlorophora, Brosimum and
fully grown caterpillars are very colourful, typically marked with
red and / or yellow spots and stripes. There is a single row of
unbranched, recurved spines along the back, and the head is adorned
with a pair of very long wavy spines. They feed diurnally and rest
on the upper surface of leaves. The pupae are typically pale in
colour, marked with blackish spots or blotches, and have wiry
filaments projecting from the back of the abdomen and from the head.
Marpesia corinna, male, Satipo, Peru ©
This species is usually encountered
as small groups of up to about 6 males, visiting wet sand or mud to
imbibe mineral-laden moisture.
They are often found near small streams, waterfalls or fords.
The butterflies tend to feed with their wings held half-open, but in
cooler conditions they will sometimes bask with wings fully outspread.
If disturbed they fly up and settle on nearby bushes at a height of
about 2-3 metres, where they bask for several minutes until they feel
safe enough to return to the ground.
Females are seen
less often, usually when visiting Eupatorium
flowers in forest clearings.