Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - EUMAEINI
Satipo, Peru ©
Almost all neotropical Theclinae species are placed in the Eumaeini.
The tribe is not particularly well represented in collections, so
until fairly recently a high percentage remained unstudied, and were
inappropriately filed away in the 'convenience' genus
Thecla. Many taxonomists have attempted
to rationalise the systematics of the Eumaeini, the most recent
being Robbins who published a revision in 2004, reclassifying the
taxa into 83 genera. Currently there are 1058 known species. Taking
into account their small size, secretive behaviour, and the great
similarities between many species, it is estimated that about
another 200 species probably remain to be discovered.
The genus Theclopsis comprises of 10
known species, variously distributed from Mexico to Peru.
Theclopsis lydus is rarely seen as it
spends most of its life in the tree tops, but it is one of the most
common and widespread Theclines in the neotropical region. Its range
includes Surinam, Guyana, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
This species is found in primary rainforest habitats at altitudes
between about 200-1000m.
sexes spend most of their lives in the upper canopy, but males
sometimes descend to settle on bushes or saplings in light gaps.