Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - RIODININI
Metacharis lucius, female, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru ©
There are 8 species in the genus
Metacharis, all of which are confined
to the neotropical region.
All Metacharis species are sexually
dimorphic, i.e. the males and females differ in colour and pattern.
In the case of lucius the female is
orange-brown, marked with a pattern of blackish squiggles, and has a
series of metallic silver dashes and black dots around the wing
margins. The males are much darker and similarly marked, but the
pattern is overlaid and almost obscured by a deep blue sheen.
Metacharis lucius occurs east of the Andes from Guyana to
This species is restricted to primary rainforest at altitudes
The larval foodplant is thought to be
Heisteria ( Olacaceae ).
The flight is
rapid and erratic. Both sexes are usually encountered singly in light
gaps. Males perch on the undersides of leaves or occasionally on the
upper surface. They indulge in territorial sorties in the late
afternoon. If disturbed they usually only fly a short distance, but
often settle above head height so are difficult to observe. Females
are active mainly in the early part of the afternoon.