Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
GODMAN & SALVIN, 1887
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - EUMAEINI
Symbiopsis tanais, Medellin, Colombia
© 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 Symbiopsis comprises of 17
species, variously distributed from Mexico to Guyana, Brazil and
Peru. Males of most species are dark brown above, with metallic pale
blue scales over the basal area of the forewings and over most of
the hindwings. Females are paler, with reduced blue scaling. The
undersides of many species are similar to
Calycopis, although that of lenitas
is white and resembles Ostrinotes, and
nivepunctata is blackish, marked with
broken bands of white spots.
Symbiopsis tanais is distributed from
Costa Rica to Ecuador.
This species is found in cloudforest at elevations between about
To be completed.
Symbiopsis butterflies seem to obtain all
their sustenance from moisture imbibed from the ground, or from the
surface of leaves.