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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Laoma Spreadwing
Potamanaxas laoma HEWITSON, 1870
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - ERYNNINI
Potamanaxas laoma trigga, Tatama NP, 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 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.
Habitats
This species inhabits cloudforest at elevations between about 600-1800m.
Lifecycle
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.
Adult behaviour

Males commonly visit damp roads, paths and river beaches to imbibe mineralsied moisture. They are usually found singly.

 

 

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