Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Blue False Flasher
Family - HESPERIIDAE
Rio Alto Madre de Dios, Peru ©
In the Neotropical region there are about 2365
species of Hesperiidae split between 5 subfamilies - Pyrrhopyginae,
Pyrginae, Heteropterinae, Megathyminae and Hesperiinae.
Hesperiinae are known generally as Grass Skippers, because their
caterpillars feed on grasses, bamboos, palms and other
monocotyledons. The adult butterflies
typically bask with their forewings held at an angle of about 45
degrees, and their hindwings held flat, as illustrated above.
The resting posture helps to distinguish
Neoxeniades and Thracides from
similarly patterned Astraptes Flashers
which belong to the Pyrginae, and bask with their wings fully
There are 10 species in the genus
Neoxeniades, which is confined to the
occurs in Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
This is a rainforest species, found at altitudes between about
The adults can
be seen basking on foliage at forest edge habitats early on sunny
mornings. Later in the day they feed at bird droppings on leaves or on
the forest floor.