Home

 

 
Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Sulzer's Lady Slipper
Pierella lamia  SULZER, 1776
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - HAETERINI

Pierella lamia, Satipo, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The tribe Haeterini is confined exclusively to the neotropical region. All members of this tribe are elusive crepuscular butterflies which spend their lives skulking deep in the undergrowth. There are 5 genera - Pierella, Pseudohaetera, Haetera, Dulcedo and Cithaerias.
The genus Pierella includes 11 species, all confined to the neotropical region. The butterflies can be instantly recognised by their characteristic wing shape, cryptic underside pattern, and their skulking flight just above the surface of the ground, in the darkness beneath the forest understorey.
All members of the genus have brown uppersides, marked on the forewings with thin, feint brown lines, and on the hindwings with dark post-median ocelli or spots. Many of the species have a blue suffusion over the hindwings, while others are marked variously with white, reddish or orange.
Pierella lamia is distributed from Colombia to Bolivia.
Habitats
Pierella lamia occurs in rainforest habitats at elevations between about 200-1400m.
Lifecycle
The egg is pale and globular. It is laid singly on young leaves of the foodplant, usually on seedlings. When fully grown the larva is a dull brownish colour, with vague darker markings and many thin longitudinal lines along the back and sides. The head has two short horns, and the tail has a pair of caudal prongs. It feeds nocturnally on Heliconia, possibly also on Calathea ( Marantaceae ). During the day it rests in a head-downwards posture on the lower stem of the foodplant. The pupa is pale brown with dark marbling and mottling on the wing cases and abdomen. It is suspended by the cremaster from woody stems.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies are usually encountered in two's or three's along dark narrow forest trails or among bamboo thickets. They fly mainly in the gloom of pre-dawn, but can also be disturbed when walking along trails until mid-morning. Like all Pierella species the flight is low and skulking, but surprisingly rapid, and has been compared with the movements of a ballroom dancer's feet, hence the common name "Ladies Slipper" or "Lady Slipper".

Pierella butterflies avoid sunshine, and by late morning have secreted themselves away deep in the undergrowth. They often choose to hide amongst the tangle of rootlets which are found at the base of certain palms. As with other Pierella species they tend to flick their wings open momentarily just after settling but then immediately close them. On rare occasions, just after dawn they will bask with the wings outspread for a few seconds, but this is rarely observed.

Both sexes feed at decomposing fungi and mouldy fruit on the forest floor.

 

 

Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution

Anatomy

Lifecycle

Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles

Europe

Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia

Africa

Indian subcontinent

Malaysia & Borneo

Papua New Guinea

Australia & N.Z.

Insects of Britain & Europe

Insects of Amazonia

Moths of the Andes

Saturniidae - Silkmoths

Caterpillars of the World

Butterfly Photography

Recommended Books

Glossary

Links

Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images

X

X

X

X

 

All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host