Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
Peru © Peter Bruce-Jones
The Pyrginae is a cosmopolitan subfamily with
members found in temperate and tropical habitats throughout the
world. The 990 neotropical species include 581 which are placed in
the tribe Pyrgini, which includes well known genera as
The genus Spathilepia
contains a single species, clonius,
easily recognised by the angular forewings which have a prominent
diagonal hyaline band. The underside hindwings are marbled in brown,
grey and black, effectively disguising the butterfly as a
decomposing fragment of a dead leaf.
distributed from Texas to northern Argentina.
This species is found in disturbed forest habitats at elevations
between sea level and about 800m.
The larva is
yellowish-green, covered in a lattice-like pattern of dark green
lines, and with a dark green line running along the back. The head
is dark brown with 2 prominent orange spots above the mandibles. The
larval foodplants include Desmodium,
Rhynchosia and Calopogonium, all
of which are herbaceous plants in the family Fabaceae.
The adults are
normally encountered singly, nectaring at
Senecio or Eupatorium, or basking
with outspread wings on low herbage.