Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
Satipo, Peru ©
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
About 580 species are placed within the tribe
The genera Bolla and
Staphylus include a combined total of
82 small dark species with an obscure pattern of lighter markings.
Most members of both genera have a series of between 1 and 6 small
white subapical spots on the forewings, and many are peppered with
grey or yellowish scales. It is very difficult to distinguish
between the genera, let alone to identify the species, but
Staphylus tend to be smaller, the shape
of their hindwings is a little wavier, and their heads and palpi are
In some species including Bolla cupreiceps,
Staphylus vulgata and
S. ceos the head and palpi are covered
in metallic golden or yellow scales. In
Staphylus chlora the head, palpi and "collar" are bright
freshly emerged the wings are velvety black, but older specimens
fade to dark brown, at which time the underlying markings become
Staphylus chlora is found in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and the
upper Amazon basin of Brazil.
This species is found in disturbed rainforest and cloudforest
habitats, including clearings, riverbanks and roadsides, at
altitudes between about 200-1800m.
The lifecycle is typical of the Pyrginae : The egg is dome-shaped
with pronounced vertical ribbing, and is laid singly on the upper
surface of the foodplants. It is yellowish when first laid, but
turns orange within a day. The larva has a large dark brown head,
and greenish translucent skin, which gradually changes to a pale,
dirty olive-brown in the final instar. The larvae lives within a
shelter made by folding a leaf, secured with strands of silk.
are usually encountered in one's and two's, either when basking on low
foliage, or when imbibing mineralised moisture from the edges of
puddles or streams.