Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - NYMPHALINI
Tigridia acesta, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru ©
acesta is the only member of its genus, but is closely
related to the Mosaic Colobura dirce.
It is distributed throughout much of the neotropics from Costa Rica
This species is primarily associated with lowland virgin rainforest,
but also occurs in lower numbers in secondary rainforest, humid
deciduous forest and cloudforest habitats at altitudes up to 1500m.
The eggs are white, and laid singly on leaves of the foodplants. The
fully grown larva is long and thin, purplish-brown in colour, with
an ochre head. It is adorned with multi-branched spines on the head
and on all the body segments. It feeds solitarily on
Paruma ( Moraceae ). When feeding the larva bites through the
midrib to cut off the flow of defensive toxins to the leaf tissue.
This causes the leaf to droop, and the larva stretches across to
feed from the leaf tips. The pupa is dark reddish-brown, mottled
with green, and resembles a piece of algae-covered wood.
is similar to that of Colobura - the
butterflies perch in a head-downwards position on shaded,
algae-covered tree trunks, at a height of between about 1-4 metres.
The wings are always held erect. It is common to find 2-3
Tigridia gathered on favoured trunks,
imbibing moisture. Both sexes reportedly also feed at rotting fruit.