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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Butler's Short-tail Skipper
Polythrix hirtius  BUTLER, 1870
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - EUDAMINI
Polythrix hirtius, Medellin, Colombia Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The 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.
The tribe Eudamini includes 44 genera in the Americas, amongst which are the Long-tailed Skippers Urbanus, Chioides and Aguna; and other familiar genera including Phocides, Autochton, Astraptes Pellicia and Polythrix.
There are several different genera of 'tailed' skippers occurring in the neotropical region including Urbanus, Aguna, Polythrix and Typhedanus. They can be distinguished from each other by the wing venation and by the configuration of the hyaline spots on the forewings. Additionally, in Urbanus the outer margin of the forewing is convex, but in the others it is concave to a greater or lesser degree.
There are 14 known Polythrix species. The butterflies are characterised by having a series of small hyaline ( transparent ) windows in the forewing, which follow the same general layout as in hirtius. The wing fringes of Polythrix species are white, whereas in the other tailed genera they are either chequered or pale brown. The tails of Polythrix tend to be stubbier than in the other genera.
The distribution of this genus is centred on Amazonia but some species including octomaculata have a very wide distribution covering much of the neotropical region from Mexico to northern Argentina.
Polythrix hirtius is found in Colombia and Venezuela.
Habitats
The butterfly occurs in cloudforest at elevations between about 600-1800m.
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Adult behaviour

The males spend much of their time hiding under leaves, with wings spread, but will sometimes join aggregations of other Pyrgine skippers at damp sand or earth, at which time they always rest with wings outspread.

 

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