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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Bellona Metalmark
Necyria bellona WESTWOOD, 1851
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - RIODININI
Necyria bellona zaneta  Tatama national park, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The genus Necyria comprises of 3 known species - bellona, ingaretha and duellona. The butterflies are large in size, and closely related to Lyropteryx and Cyrenia.
Necyria bellona is distributed along the eastern slopes of the Andes from Colombia to Peru. There are 9 subspecies, some of which are so disimilar that one could be forgiven for believing they were distinct species. Analysis of genitalia and larval morphology by Salazar, Constantino and Rodriguez however has firmly established that all are subspecies of bellona. Three of these are illustrated here - whitelyiana which is endemic to Peru, and westwoodi and zaneta which are both from Colombia.
Necyria bellona zaneta  Antioquoia, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins
Necyria bellona westwoodi  Otun-Quimbaya, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This species inhabits cloudforest on both sides of the Andes, at altitudes between 1500-2500m.
Necyria bellona whitelyiana  Bosque She'llot, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Necyria bellona zaneta  Tatama national park, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

Males are occasionally seen visiting sewage seepages or urine-soaked ground. They drink using the 'filter-feeding' method, whereby they imbibe almost continually, extracting salts from mineral-rich patches of ground, or from the edges of puddles. Periodically they squirt the demineralised water from their anus, curving their abdomen so as to aim the liquid at the ground beneath their feet. There it leaches more minerals from the ground, which are re-imbibed. This process is continuous and the butterflies often recycle the same fluid many times during a period of several minutes.

In Ecuador I have observed males feeding at the corpses of toads and snakes, while females are more commonly seen nectaring, particularly at Eupatorium flowers.

Necyria bellona zaneta  Tatama national park, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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