Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - EPICALIINI
subtribe - EPICALIINA
Myscelia is closely allied to
Catonephele, and like them is restricted to the neotropical
region. Myscelia contains 9 species.
Males of most species have metallic blue and white bars or patches
on the uppersides. Females lack the blue scales, but have more
extensive white markings. The underside hindwings of most species
have a dark brown bark-like appearance.
The shape of the wings varies according to species - in some such as
aracynthia the outer margin of the forewing is deeply
scalloped, while in others such as cyanthe
and ethusa the shape is similar to that
Myscelia capenas is the commonest, an
unfortunately the least beautiful member of the genus, as the blue
scaling is barely detectable in most specimens. It is the only
species which has an orange bar across the hindwings.
butterfly occurs from Colombia to Bolivia.
This is a lowland rainforest species found at altitudes between
about 200-900m. It is reputed to be uncommon,
but I have found them easily at
many localities in the foothills of the Andes, and in the upper
Amazon basin regions of Ecuador, Brazil and Peru.
Myscelia capenas, Satipo, Peru ©
Females are rarely seen, and
probably spend most of their lives in the canopy.
Males tend to be seen mainly in the
afternoons, in light gaps and small glades in the forest. They often
settle to imbibe moisture from the ground on narrow trails, and nearly
always keep their wings outspread while feeding. They also commonly
bask on logs.