Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Hopffer's Tailed Owlet
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - MORPHINAE
Tribe - BRASSOLINI
subtribe - BRASSOLINA
The Morphinae comprises
of about 140-150 neotropical species, of which 93 are included
within the tribe Brassolini. Of these 73 are placed in the
Brassolina - a subtribe
including the genera Brassolis,
Opsiphanes, Orobrassolis and Selenophanes.
All Brassolines are crepuscular or nocturnal in behaviour, although
a few species also fly by day in the darkest areas of the forest.
Opoptera comprises of 6 known species -
sulcius, syme and a newly
discovered Peruvian species that has not yet been named.
Opoptera arsippe is distributed from Ecuador to Bolivia.
This species is found in primary and secondary rainforest, and in
cloudforest at altitudes up to about 1500m.
I have no
data specific to arsippe but the
lifecycle is likely to be similar to that of
aorsa as follows: The eggs are white and globular, finely
ribbed, and laid in clusters of between 2-5 on leaves of the
foodplant Chusquea ( bamboo ). The
larva is pale green, with a series of thin brown and yellowish lines
along the back, and a pair of brown caudal tails. The head is pale
brown and has a pair of long black horns, and a short pale horn on
each cheek. The chrysalis is long and cylindrical, tan coloured with
numerous fine dark striations, and has the general appearance of a
piece of bamboo stem.
Opoptera rest on decaying stems or thin
branches at a height of about 1m but they are normally only seen at
dawn, when they visit rotting fruit or herbivore dung on the forest