Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - EUMAEINI
Satipo, Peru ©
Almost all neotropical Theclinae species are placed in the Eumaeini.
The tribe is not particularly well represented in collections, so
until fairly recently a high percentage remained unstudied, and were
inappropriately filed away in the 'convenience' genus
Thecla. Many taxonomists have attempted
to rationalise the systematics of the Eumaeini, the most recent
being Robbins who published a revision in 2004, reclassifying the
taxa into 83 genera. Currently there are 1058 known species. Taking
into account their small size, secretive behaviour, and the great
similarities between many species, it is estimated that about
another 200 species probably remain to be discovered.
Ministrymon comprises of 23 known
species, variously distributed from s.w. USA to Peru and Argentina.
Males are dark brown on the upper surface of the wings, with a
metallic blue sheen on the hindwings and around the basal area of
the forewings. The ventral surfaced in most species is grey, with a
broken staggered red streak on both wings. With the exceptions of
cleon and azia
all Ministrymon species also have
additional black and/or red spots in the basal area of the
hindwings, and a dark bar at the end of the discal cell of the
The genus name
Ministrymon is derived from the Latin
minimum - meaning 'small' or 'smaller', and from the name of the
Greek river Strymon. It refers to the small size of the butterfly
and the river-like 'hairstreak' line on the underside of many
Eumaeini genera including Strymon,
Electrostrymon. In many species including such as
cleon this streak is broken up to form
a series of red spots. The species name cleon
is derived from the Greek kleiein which means to celebrate or make
is distributed from Costa Rica to Brazil and Peru.
This species is found in rainforest and humid deciduous forest, at
altitudes from sea level to about 800m. It tends to be encountered
within the forest rather than in forest-edge habitats.
To be completed.
can often be found settled on bushes or saplings at light gaps in the
forest, or in areas where dappled sunlight filters through to the
understorey. They are generally encountered singly.