Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - HELICOPINI
Sarota neglecta, Tatama NP, Colombia ©
Sarota was reviewed in 1998 by Jason
Hall, who recognises a total of 20 species, found variously from
Mexico to Bolivia, with the highest concentration in Ecuador. It has
been estimated that certain locations along the base of the eastern
Andes each hold up to 15 species. Most of them are extremely rare
and elusive - so much so that only that even the most experienced
observers rarely manage to see more than half a dozen species in a
Both sexes of all
Sarota species are characterised by
having dull blackish or brownish uppersides which in some species
are marked with suffused whitish spots. The undersides are reddish
orange, marked with metallic silver streaks and lines, small black
spots, and yellow margins.
Sarota species have cute furry legs,
but only a few have tails on the hindwings - these include
turrialbensis, neglecta and
craspediodonta from Central America,
chocoensis from Colombia and Ecuador,
Sarota neglecta is found in Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, n.w
Venezuela and western Ecuador.
This species inhabits cloudforest at elevations between about
Females oviposit on mosses and liverworts ( Lejuniaceae ) that grow
as epiphytes on old leaves of various understorey shrubs. The tiny
eggs are white, globular and pitted like a sponge. The larvae when
fully grown are protected by dense coat of whitish setae. If a larva
is molested by an ant the setae break off and become lodged in the
ant's mandibles, preventing attack. Larvae feed solitarily, and rest
underneath leaves. The pupa is formed within a rolled leaf, lined
with loose hairs.
Sarota neglecta is usually encountered in two's and three's.
Both sexes roost under the leaves of bushes or saplings.