Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Chrysogone Wood Nymph
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
subtribe - EUPTYCHIINA
Taygetis chrysogone Tatama NP,
© Adrian Hoskins
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
Magneuptychia, Harjesia etc;
together with Oressinoma and the
various 'wood nymph' genera i.e. Parataygetis,
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.
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. All species are
seasonally dimorphic i.e. they produce distinct wet and dry season
morphs. The dry season forms tend to be paler and have a slightly
more exaggerated wing shape. Many species are also subject to
geographical variation in the colour and contrast of the wing
markings, although the ocelli, submarginal wavy line, and the black
spots in the discal cells are consistent in all races.
Taygetis chrysogone is distributed
throughout the Amazonian faunal region from Panama to Peru.
This species breeds in cloudforest at elevations between about
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.
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 leaf litter around the base of trees, but
will venture into open areas if the weather is overcast.