Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - EPIPHILINI
subtribe - EPIPHILINA
Madre de Dios, Peru ©
This small and attractive species
is the sole member of the genus Nica.
Its closest relative is Peria lamis
which has a similar underside but lacks the silvery ocelli. The 2
species are quite different on the upperside, which in
lamis is dark brown.
Nica flavilla is distributed from Mexico to Bolivia.
This species is found in rainforest and humid deciduous forest
habitats at altitudes between 0-1500m but is more frequently seen at
altitudes below 800m.
Shima, Satipo, Peru ©
The eggs are
white and shaped like a flattened cone. They are laid singly close
to the midrib of old leaves of Cardiospermum,
Paullinia ( Sapindaceae ).
The fully grown larva is
green with a brown lateral line edged with pink, and 3 brown
transverse bands on the back. There is a pair of rosetted spines on
each segment, with those on the thoracic segments being thicker and
longer. The head is brown and bears a pair of orange head horns with
whorls of brown spikes.
The chrysalis is green
with a pale lateral stripe, and flecked with brown. It has a
thoracic keel but is otherwise devoid of projections.
are usually encountered singly at forest edge habitats including along
riverbanks, sunlit trails and roadsides. They visit damp ground to
imbibe mineralised moisture, and usually hold their wings erect while
feeding, but can occasionally be seen basking on sandbanks. They rest
on the under surface of leaves at a height of about 1-3m.
not observed the females. DeVries states that they oviposit around
midday and are most often encountered along trails and in large light