Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Gaudy Nightfighter
Porphyrogenes spadix  AUSTIN & MIELKE, 2008
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Porphyrogenes spadix, Satipo, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
The subfamily Pyrginae are characterised by their habit of basking with wings outspread, compared to the half-open position favoured by the Hesperiinae.
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 and Calaenorrhinus.
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.
Porphyrogenes spadix 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.
Adult behaviour

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 Bungalotis, Salatis, Nascus and other crepuscular skippers.



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