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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
White Flag
Melete leucanthe  FELDER & FELDER, 1861
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
Tribe - PIERINI
Melete leucanthe male, Satipo, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The Pieridae is divided into 3 subfamilies. The Dismorphiinae, with a small number of exceptions is entirely neotropical in distribution. The Coliadinae ( Sulphurs and Yellows ) and Pierinae ( Whites, Wanderers and Orange tips ) however have worldwide distribution.
There are 217 members of the Pierinae in the neotropical region. These include familiar holarctic genera such as Pieris, Pontia and Anthocharis, and others such as Pereute, Catasticta and Melete which are found only in Central and South America.
The genus Melete contains 6 species, characterised by having a yellow spot at the base of the hind wing on the underside. The forewings of most species have a blackish apex, and often a dark bar at the end of the discal cell. The ground colour is white in leucanthe, but in the other species is quite variable - lycimnia for example ranges between pure white and deep primrose yellow according to subspecies.
Melete leucanthe occurs from Panama to Bolivia.
Melete leucanthe male, Satipo, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This species can be found in a wide range of habitats atelevations between sea level and at least 1800m.
Lifecycle
The larval foodplant is reputed to be Loranthaceae.
Melete leucanthe male, Satipo, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

Males often aggregate with other Pieridae species to imbibe mineralised moisture.

Melete leucanthe  male, Antioquoia, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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