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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Cattleheart Mimic
Mimoides xeniades  HEWITSON, 1867
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
subfamily - PAPILIONINAE
Tribe - LEPTOCIRCINI

Mimoides xeniades, male, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
This species is also known by the junior synonym Eurytides harmodius.
The colour and pattern of this species is very similar to that of the Cattlehearts ( Parides  ), a group of Papilionids with toxic qualities derived from their larval foodplants Aristolochia. Butterflies in the genus Mimoides however feed as larvae on Annonaceae, and are not thought to be unpalatable to predators. It is likely therefore that xeniades is a Batesian mimic of Parides. The larvae, as well as the adults of Mimoides are very similar in appearance to Parides.
There are 11 species in the genus Mimoides, which is very closely allied to Eurytides.
Mimoides xeniades is found in south-eastern Peru and Bolivia.
Habitats
This species is found in wet lowland and premontane rainforest habitats at elevations between about 200-1500m.
Lifecycle
The white eggs are laid singly on the foliage of sapling or mature trees in the family Annonaceae.
I can find no data specific to the larvae of xeniades, but related species e.g. branchus, when fully grown are typically plump, black, and with 8 fleshy unbranched tubercles on each segment. The tubercles are often reddish, and some species have a cream V-shaped band or similar marking half way along the back.
The pupae of Mimoides species are barrel-shaped and have a prominent horn projecting forward from the thorax. They are attached vertically by the cremaster and a thick silk girdle to a stem or twig on the foodplant.
Adult behaviour

Unlike the Cattlehearts, male Mimoides commonly visit damp patches on sandbanks, forest glades or peccary wallows, to filter-feed by imbibing mineral-rich moisture, and can be seen either singly or in mixed groups with other Papilionids.

While feeding they usually flutter their wings rapidly in typical Papilionid fashion, but sometimes settle for several minutes with wings erect and stationary.

 

 

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