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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Heraldica Hairstreak
Nicolaea heraldica  DYAR, 1914
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - EUMAEINI
Nicolaea heraldica, Medellin, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
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.
The genus Nicolaea comprises of about 40 species, variously distributed from Mexico to Paraguay and Argentina. The males of most species have dark earthy brown uppersides flushed with metallic blue. In females the blue areas are paler, and confined mainly to the hindwings. The undersides of most species are similar to the illustrated heraldica, although some such as fabulla have the band on the hindwing broken up into large irregular blotches.
Nicolaea heraldica is the commonest and most widely distributed species, being found from Mexico to central Brazil.
Habitats
This species is found in rainforest and cloudforest at elevations between about 200-1600m.
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies spend most of their lives in the canopy but occasionally descend and settle on low foliage.

 

 

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