Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Daraba Desert Groundstreak
Strymon daraba  HEWITSON, 1867
subfamily - THECLINAE
Strymon daraba, San Mateo, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Almost all neotropical Theclinae species are placed in the Eumaeini. The tribe is not particularly well represented in collections, so until fairly recently a high percentage remained unstudied, and were inappropriately filed away in the 'convenience' genus Thecla. Many taxonomists have attempted to rationalise the systematics of the Eumaeini, the most recent being Robbins who published a revision in 2004, reclassifying the taxa into 83 genera. Currently there are 1058 known species. Taking into account their small size, secretive behaviour, and the great similarities between many species, it is estimated that about another 200 species probably remain to be discovered.
The genus Strymon comprises of 54 known species, variously distributed across the Americas from Canada to Chile and Uruguay.
The males of most species have metallic blue patches on the upper hindwings, sometimes also on the forewings. Females of all species have plain earthy brown uppersides. All species have a pair of short 'tails' at the tornus of the hindwing, although these are often lost after the butterflies have flown for a couple of days. The undersides vary considerably - e.g. the davara group of species have undersides marbled in shades of brown; the basilides group to which ziba belongs have pale undersides with a broken band of reddish spots; and one species sabinus, has a black 'hairstreak' line and a large red patch at the tornus. Strymon daraba exhibits yet another type of underside, with a wavy white-edged dark line across both wings. The upperside of both sexes is earthy brown.
The genus is named after the Greek river Strymon. It refers to the river-like 'hairstreak' line on the underside of many Eumaeini genera including Strymon, Hypostrymon, Nesiostrymon, Ministrymon, Chlorostrymon and Electrostrymon. In many species this streak is indistinct or is broken up into a series of spots.
Strymon daraba is found in Ecuador and Peru.
This species is found in arid deserts with sparse scrubby growth, cacti and small trees in Ecuador and Peru. It appears to be restricted to altitudes between about 1400-2000m.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies are only active in hot sunshine. They are usually encountered sitting on rocks or flying around small bushes.



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