Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Regal Metalmark
Metacharis regalis  BUTLER, 1867
subfamily - RIODININAE

Metacharis regalis, male, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
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 ).
Adult behaviour

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.



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