Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Chinese Lantern
Symmachia rubina  BATES, 1866
subfamily - RIODININAE
Symmachia rubina separata, Satipo, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
There are 56 known Symmachia species, although more probably await discovery. All are restricted to the neotropical region. They are all small butterflies, typically marked with red, orange, yellow or white on a black ground colour. The leading edge of the forewing is strongly bowed in most species.
Symmachia rubina is one of the most widespread species, found from Mexico to Bolivia and across much of Brazil. In the northern subspecies rubina, which occurs from Mexico to Colombia, the sub-apical white spots are elongated into dashes.
The illustrated subspecies separata is found from Colombia to Peru and Brazil.
This species is found in primary or mildly disturbed forest at elevations between about 200-800m.
The eggs are laid on leaves of the tree Inga ( Fabaceae ). The larva is plump and covered with fine bristle-like setae. In the early instars it feeds on the under-surface of leaves, nibbling away patches of cuticle. When fully grown it is brown, with a cream or yellowish band halfway along the abdomen. The pupa is brown and very bristly. It is formed on the underside of a leaf of the foodplant.
Adult behaviour

This species is usually encountered as male singletons, either perching on the foliage of bushes, or imbibing mineralised moisture from boulders. When at rest on foliage the forewings are held swept back, almost completely obscuring the hindwings.



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