Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
tribe - PYRRHOPYGINI
Mimardaris sela chanchamayonis,
Satipo, Peru ©
subfamily Pyrrhopyginae comprises 163 species, most of which are
confined to the Neotropics, although a few occur in Mexico, and a
Pyrrhopyginae are characterised by having a massive muscular thorax
and a conical abdomen with compressed segments. The wings of most
species are black, often with a metallic blue sheen, and are swept
back, half covering the hindwings when the butterflies settle.
Several of the genera, including
and Parelbella have a pattern of
hyaline "windows" on the forewings, and are marked with stripes and
bands of brilliant blue and white.
Mimardaris has a
similar pattern but differs in that the hyaline areas windows are
heavily suffused with copper, and the thoracic stripes are dark
orange in colour. The 7 Mimardaris
species are very similar to each other in pattern, with the
exception of aerata in which the wings
are unmarked and metallic olive in colour.
Mimardaris sela is
the most widespread species, found in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and
Bolivia. The illustrated subspecies
chanchamayonis is endemic to the Chanchamayo valley in Peru.
occurs in transitional rainforest / cloudforest habitats on the
eastern slopes of the Andes, at elevations between about 400-1600m.
usually seen when discovered imbibing mineralised water from wet
rocks, or at the edges of streams at dawn. They avoid sunshine and
rarely fly after 10am. When
settled on the ground they hold their forewings swept back, partially
covering the hindwings.