Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Porphyrogenes spadix AUSTIN
& MIELKE, 2008
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - EUDAMINI
Porphyrogenes spadix, Satipo, Peru ©
subfamily Pyrginae are characterised by their habit of basking with
wings outspread, compared to the half-open position favoured by the
tribe Eudamini includes 44 genera in the Americas, amongst which are
the Long-tailed Skippers Urbanus,
Aguna; and other familiar genera including
Autochton, Astraptes and
The genus Porphyrogenes comprises of 14
largish crepuscular skippers, all of which are confined to the
neotropical region. Most species are olive-brown or reddish-brown in
colour. Several are almost devoid of markings, while others have
white diagonal bands, or large white polygonal markings on the
centre of the forewings.
In common with many
other members of the Pyrginae, the
leading edge ( costa ) of the forewing of
Porphyrogenes males has a prominent fold within which are
androconial scales. These disseminate pheromones which are used to
entice females to copulate.
is found in eastern Peru, and in the state of Rondonia in Brazil.
This species is found in tropical and subtropical forest at
altitudes between about 200-1000m.
Porphyrogenes habitually hide under
leaves during daylight, with their wings held fully outspread.
At dusk they become very active, whirring
about, low over the ground along forest trails. The flight is rapid
and erratic, and very difficult to follow with the eye. Males are
strongly attracted to urine-tainted soil, where they aggregate with
Nascus and other crepuscular skippers.