Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
Satipo, Peru ©
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, although the
marbling on the hindwings of macarius
is unusual in this genus. It should be noted that there is another
neotropical genus with an almost identical name -
Niconiades ( Hesperiinae ).
is distributed from
Guatemala to Argentina.
This species is found in tropical and subtropical forest 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
This, and other
Nisoniades species, are generally
encountered as solitary males.