Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
Pyrginae, popularly known as Flats or Spreadwings, are a
cosmopolitan subfamily distributed across temperate and tropical
habitats throughout the world. In the Americas there are 990
species, of which about
580 are assigned to the tribe Pyrgini.
The suffused but
distinct markings, and the 3 whitish spots near the acute apex
clearly identify the illustrated butterfly as a member of the genus
Nisoniades. There are 33 species in the
genus, most of which are very similar in appearance.
Note: there is another
genus with an almost identical name -
Niconiades ( Hesperiinae ).
is distributed from
Mexico to Peru.
This species is found in tropical and subtropical evergreen
rainforest at altitudes between about 200-1000m.
I have no information regarding Nisoniades,
but Pyrgine butterflies typically lay their eggs singly on either
the upperside or underside of leaves. The larvae are usually dull
green or brownish, with thin longitudinal lines along the back and
sides, and with black shiny heads. Most feed on low growing
herbaceous plants, but a small percentage feed on the leaves of
bushes or trees. The pupae are usually dark and smooth, with the
wing cases in a contrasting tone or colour. They are normally formed
within silken tents formed by spinning together the leaves of the
Satipo, Peru ©
This, and other
Nisoniades species, are generally
encountered as solitary males, seen imbibing mineralised moisture from
river beaches - often in the company of Ebrietas
anacreon, Gorgopas trochilus,
Antigonus nearchus and other Pyrgine