Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - RIODININI
subtribe - LEMONIADINA
female, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru ©
Synargis comprises 25 species. The
males of most species are similar to
Nymphidium - largely white, with broad brown borders
distinctively patterned in orange; while the females are noticeably
larger than their males, and more strongly marked.
Synargis orestessa is a member of
separate sub-group in which the males are strongly reminiscent of
and the females have a broad, diagonal
band on the forewing, stretching from mid-way along the costa
towards, but not meeting, the tornus.
This is a
widespread and fairly common species in Ecuador, south-east Brazil
is confined to primary lowland rainforest in the Amazon basin, at
altitudes below about 800 metres.
Males are often overlooked because
of their resemblance to the very common Emesis
mandana. They can sometimes be found
imbibing mineralised moisture on sunlit forest tracks.
Females are seen less frequently,
and normally encountered in light gaps in the forest where trees have
fallen, and sunlight penetrates to ground level. They habitually rest
on the upperside of low growing foliage.