Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
Corades pannonia ploas, Tatama NP, Colombia ©
There are 1100 known species of Satyrinae in the neotropical region.
About 570 of these are placed in the subtribe Pronophilina - a
diverse group of high altitude cloudforest butterflies, all of which
are confined to the neotropical region. The vast majority are found
only in the Andes, but 4 species are known from the Atlantic
cloudforests of Brazil, and there are a further 6 species that are
endemic to Guatemala, Costa Rica or Mexico. More oddly there is one
genus Calisto that is found exclusively
on the Caribbean islands of Cuba and Hispaniola.
genus Corades comprises of 23 known
species, but it is likely that more will be discovered as remote
cloudforest regions become more fully explored.
butterflies are instantly recognisable by their large size and
distinctively shaped hindwings. The pattern on the underside varies
according to species. Many such as iduna,
cybele and medeba
are a unicolorous brown, peppered and striated with grey and black,
while others including ulema,
chirone are beautifully marbled or banded with cream.
uppersides of most Corades species are
dark brown, typically marked marked with splashes of orange or red
on the forewings. The upperside of pannonia
is almost black, and virtually unmarked.
Corades pannonia occurs as 5 named
subspecies found variously in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru.
This species breeds in cloudforests at elevations between about
The lifecycle appears to be unrecorded. The following
generalisations are applicable to the subtribe Pronophilina and are
probably applicable to Corades: The
eggs are round, white or pale greenish white, and laid singly on the
foodplants or on surrounding vegetation. The larvae are typically
pale brown, marked along the back and sides with narrow dark
stripes, and tapering towards each end. The head is large in
proportion to the body and has two short forward-pointing horns. The
tip of the abdomen is equipped with a pair of caudal prongs which
are used to flick the frass away from the feeding area. The larvae
of all known Pronophilina feed on Chusquea
- a genus of bamboo which grows in thickets, mainly along the
courses of streams.
butterflies are encountered singly and infrequently, and perch on
foliage at heights of about 3 or 4 metres above the ground. In
mid-late afternoon the males will sometimes descend to imbibe moisture
from unsurfaced roads.
Corades pannonia ploas, Tatama NP,