Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
Milanion cramba, Satipo, Peru ©
Pyrginae, popularly known as Flats or Spreadwings, are a
cosmopolitan subfamily distributed across temperate and tropical
habitats throughout the world. In the Americas there are 990
species, of which about 580
are placed in the tribe Pyrgini.
The genus Milanion
contains 7 species, each with a similar pattern of hyaline spots on
the forewing, and a broad white band traversing the hindwings and
abdomen. Many of the species are difficult to tell apart, and can
only be determined accurately by genitalic dissection.
Milanion cramba is
endemic to Peru.
This species occurs in forested habitats at elevations between about
200-800m. It is most commonly seen along narrow forest tracks, but
sometimes ventures out into full sunlight to imbibe mineralised
moisture from stones and boulders.
The lifecycle appears to be unrecorded. Generally, Pyrgine
butterflies lay their eggs singly on either the upperside or
underside of leaves. The larvae are typically dull green or
brownish, with thin longitudinal lines along the back and sides, and
with black shiny heads. They feed typically on herbaceous plants,
but a small percentage feed on the leaves of bushes or trees. The
pupae are usually dark and smooth, with the wing cases in a
contrasting tone or colour. They are normally formed within silken
tents formed by spinning together the leaves of the foodplant.
are usually seen singly basking on low herbage, with wings outspread.
They commonly feed at bird droppings.