Home

 

 
Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Mermeria Wood Nymph
Taygetis mermeria  CRAMER. 1776
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
subtribe - EUPTYCHIINA

Taygetis mermeria, dry season form, 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.
All Taygetis species are seasonally dimorphic i.e. they produce distinct wet and dry season morphs. In mermeria the difference between the two forms is quite pronounced. The wet season morph is richly coloured in chocolate and olive, while the dry season form is a more unicolorous pale reddish brown, and is perfectly camouflaged at rest among the dead leaves of the dry season.
Taygetis mermeria is found throughout the neotropical region from Mexico to Bolivia.
Taygetis mermeria, wet season form, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This species breeds in rainforest and cloudforest habitats which experience marked seasonality. It occurs at altitudes between 0-1800m.
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 mermeria is often found in an exceedingly worn condition and is known to live for several weeks, and possibly for as long as 9 months.

 

Contact  /  About me

Butterfly-watching holidays

Trip reports

UK latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Strange but true !

Taxonomy & Evolution

Anatomy

Lifecycle

Enemies of butterflies

Survival strategies

Migration & dispersal

Habitats - UK / Palaearctic

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census

Butterflies of the World :

British Isles

Europe

Amazon & Andes

North America

temperate Asia

Africa

Indian subcontinent

Malaysia & Borneo

Papua New Guinea

Australia & N.Z.

Insects of Britain & Europe

Insects of Amazonia

Moths of the Andes

Saturniidae - Silkmoths

Caterpillars of the World

Butterfly Photography

Recommended Books

Glossary

Links

Code of practice

Copyright - text & images

Copyright - text & images

X

X

X

X

 

All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host