Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - RIODININI
Metacharis regalis, male, 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 regalis the female is
orange-brown with a prominent suffused yellowish area near the apex
of the forewings. The wings are marked with a pattern of blackish
squiggles, and have a series of metallic silver dashes and black
dots around the margins. The males have a similar ground colour and
pattern but lack the pale sub-apical areas. Instead the entire wing
surface, with the exception of the area between the veins at the
apex, is overlaid with a beautiful deep blue metallic sheen.
Metacharis regalis occurs from Colombia and Venezuela, south
across Amazonia and the eastern Andes to Peru and Bolivia.
This species is restricted to primary rainforest at altitudes
between sea level and about 1400m.
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
they usually only fly a short distance, but often settle above head
height so are difficult to observe.
active mainly in the early part of the afternoon.