Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Stichel's Hermit
Zelotaea nivosa  STICHEL, 1929
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe -
Zelotaea nivosa, Rio Shima, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
There are 9 known species in the genus Zelotaea, including one recently discovered by Callaghan & Lamas in Colombia, which has not yet been assigned a scientific name.
Some Zelotaea species such as phasma are entirely white, except for a brownish suffusion along the veins. The majority however are similar to nivosa, with chocolate brown forewings marked with patches of white; and hindwings that are white with dark brown margins. They are small fast-flying insects and can easily be confused at a glance with Hesperiines.
The most widespread species is phasma which is found across most of Brazil. The other species are mostly each known from only a single country, e.g. alba and suffusca are known only from Guyana, while watkinsi and nivosa appear to only have been found in Peru.
This butterfly is found in primary rainforest at altitudes between about 200-1000m.
The lifecycle appears to be unknown.
Adult behaviour

My only observation of this species is of a singleton which flew down from a treetop and settled on the leaf of a bush in disturbed rainforest at Rio Shima in Peru, in August.



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