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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Selina Tiger-stripe
Thestius selina  HEWITSON, 1869
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - EUMAEINI

Thestius selina, male, Pantiacolla, Rio Alto Madre de Dios, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
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 Thestius comprises of 10 known species, variously distributed from Panama to Peru.
Thestius selina is sexually dimorphic - males have iridescent turquoise uppersides, while the undersides of fore and hindwings are blackish, with bands of metallic scales which reflect hues of blue, turquoise or silvery green according to the angel of the sunlight. Females are earthy brown on the upperside. Their forewings are also a unicolorous brown beneath, but the hindwings have a broad cream median band, and a black post median band in which are a series of silvery blue spots.
This butterfly is distributed throughout most of the Amazonian region from Surinam to Peru.
Habitats
This species is found in primary rainforest habitats at altitudes between about 200-800m.
Lifecycle
Unknown.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies probably spend much of their lives in the upper canopy, but singletons are sometimes encountered in glades and other forest edge habitats, at which times they settle on foliage, typically at a height of about 1-2 metres. When at rest the wings are always held erect, and are often tilted so that the wing surface is at right angles to the rays of the sun.

 

 

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