Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - ERYNNINI
Potamanaxas laoma trigga,
Tatama NP, Colombia © Adrian
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
genus Potamanaxas comprises of 15
species, distributed variously from Nicaragua to Bolivia. All
species are earthy brown in colour, with white or yellowish bands,
which in laoma and some other species
are broken up to form a marbled pattern. Some of these species can
only be reliably identified by dissecting the genitalia, hence the
determination of the illustrated insect as
laoma must be regarded as tentative. The example illustrated
is a worn specimen - in fresh specimens the dark markings and white
marbling are much more distinct.
Potamanaxas laoma occurs as 6
subspecies found variously in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
This species inhabits cloudforest at elevations between about
Potamanaxas larvae are green with brown
heads. They live solitarily within a shelter constructed by silking
together leaves of the foodplants, which are
Sphyrospermun and other Ericaceae.
Males commonly visit damp roads,
paths and river beaches to imbibe mineralsied moisture. They are
usually found singly.