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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Jordan's Altinote
Altinote hilaris  JORDAN, 1910
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - ACRAEINAE
Tribe - ACRAEINI
Altinote hilaris, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The tribe Acraeini is primarily African - there are for example 83 species in Kenya, and about 230 in the whole African continent. There are also a few species in Asia, and an estimated 55 in the whole of the neotropical region.
In the neotropics the Acraeini are represented by 3 genera, most members of which have a pattern of red or orange-yellow bands on the forewings. Actinote comprises of thinly scaled species whose wings have a translucent and shiny appearance. The other two genera Abananote and Altinote are heavily scaled and boldly marked.
Altinote have velvety black wings, banded with bright red, orange or yellow. They are toxic models which form part of a complex Batesian / Mullerian mimicry ring involving Heliconius, Gnathotriche, Eresia, Castalia and various Ithomiine genera. Altinote characteristics which in combination make it possible to distinguish them from other genera include short straight antennae with flattened clubs, and closed cells on the hindwings. The latter can most easily be seen from the underside.
Altinote hilaris is found in Ecuador and Peru.
Habitats
This species inhabits rainforest and cloudforest at altitudes between about 200-1800m.
Lifecycle
I have no information specific to hilaris. The following generalisations are applicable to the genus Altinote : The eggs are yellowish and barrel-shaped. They are laid in batches of between 50-100 on the foodplants which according to species include Eupatorium, Vernonia, Mikania ( Asteraceae ) and Boehmeria, Mikania ( Urticaceae). The caterpillars are typically dull greenish or brownish in colour. They are adorned on the back and sides with rows of short branched blackish spikes which in some species have mildly urticating properties. They live gregariously until the final instar. The pupae are whitish or pale yellow, marked with black spots or lines on the wing-pads and short black spikes on the abdomen. They are suspended from stems or foliage.
Adult behaviour

The males are commonly found 'mud-puddling' in the company of other Acraeines on road surfaces, along stream-edges and at other sources of mineral rich moisture.

 

 

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