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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Dead-leaf Wood Nymph
Taygetis angulosa  WEYMER, 1907
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
subtribe - EUPTYCHIINA

Taygetis angulosa, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
There are 1100 known species of Satyrinae in the neotropical region. About 400 of these are placed in the Euptychiina. Butterflies within this tribe include the 'ringlet' genera Euptychia, Magneuptychia, Harjesia, Cissia, Caeruleuptychia, Magneuptychia, Harjesia etc; together with Oressinoma and the various 'wood nymph' genera i.e. Parataygetis, Posttaygetis and Taygetis. Most are inhabitants of the forest understorey and tend to fly close to the ground. They generally avoid sunlight and prefer to fly at dawn or on cloudy days when light levels and temperatures are low.
The genus Taygetis contains 28 known species, although several more are likely to be discovered. They vary in wingspan between about 5-11cms, and are characterised by having dull brown wings, usually cryptically patterned on the underside so that they resemble dead leaves. Most species also have a series of prominent ocelli on the ventral surface.
Taygetis angulosa is one of the most leaf-like Taygetis species. As might be expected of a dead-leaf mimic, it is most abundant in the dry season when it is superbly camouflaged at rest amongst dead vegetation on the forest floor.
This species is found in Mato Grosso in Brazil, and in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.
Habitats
Taygetis angulosa breeds in primary rainforest at altitudes between about 100-800m.
Lifecycle
The eggs of Taygetis species are smooth, globular and laid singly on or close to the foodplants. The caterpillars are typically Satyrine in appearance, with smooth pale green bodies marked with thin longitudinal lines, a pair of short tail prongs and a matching pair of horns projecting forward from the head capsule. They feed solitarily after dusk, on grasses or bamboos according to species. The pupae are typically pale green, and have a bifid head and a curved abdomen.
Adult behaviour

Like all other Taygetis species, this butterfly is a denizen of the dark undergrowth, and flies mainly in the early mornings, between about 0800-0900hrs. At other times it usually hides away amongst the rootlets of palms or amongst leaf litter around the base of trees. The adults fly only very short distances, rarely more than 2-3 metres at a time, and always close to the ground. Both sexes visit rotting fruits, decomposing fungi and bird-droppings on the forest floor.

Taygetis angulosa, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru  Adrian Hoskins

 

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