Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Symmachia rubina BATES,
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Symmachia rubina separata,
Satipo, Peru ©
There are 56 known
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.
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.
is found from
Colombia to Peru and Brazil.
This species is found
in primary or mildly disturbed forest at elevations between about
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.
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.