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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Mottled Leafwing
Polygrapha cyanea  SALVIN & GODMAN, 1868
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - CHARAXINAE
Tribe - ANAEINI
Polygrapha cyanea, Satipo, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The tribe Anaeini comprises of 87 neotropical species in the genera Coenophlebia, Consul, Anaea, Polygrapha, Memphis, Siderone, Fountainea and Zaretis. The butterflies are characterised by having a very rapid and strong flight. They have stout bodies, falcate wings, and on the upper surface are generally black, marked with bands of orange, bright red, or lustrous blue according to species. The undersides of all species in the Anaeini are cryptically patterned and bear a strong resemblance to the dead leaves, tree bark or boulders on which they settle.
There are 4 species in the genus Polygrapha, i.e. cyanea, suprema, tyrianthina and xenocrates. All  have cryptic undersides which camouflage them effectively when they are at rest on tree trunks or on the ground amongst leaf litter. The uppersides vary according to species. Males of suprema and tyrianthina are dark brown with a bluish sheen and a broad swathe of orange across the forewings, but males of cyanea are black, banded with metallic blue. All members of the genus are sexually dimorphic. The female of cyanea is black above, with a broken broad white diagonal band running from the fw tornus to midway along the costa. Both sexes of cyanea have tailed hindwings, unlike the other Polygrapha species.
Polygrapha cyanea is found from Colombia to Peru.
Habitats
Polygrapha cyanea occurs in rainforest at elevations between about 200-800m.
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Adult behaviour

This species spends most of its life in the upper canopy. It can however be attracted to rotting fruit, mammalian dung or carrion on the forest floor. The wings are always kept tightly closed when the butterflies are feeding. If disturbed they fly up onto nearby understorey foliage.

 

 

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