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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Pretty Mimic White
Dismorphia thermesia  GODART, 1819
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - DISMORPHIINAE

Dismorphia thermesia, male, Satipo, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The Dismorphiinae is a small subfamily which includes the Wood Whites of the Palaearctic region, and about 50 neotropical species, but is absent from Africa, Asia and the Australian region.
Features common to all Dismorphiine genera include the tapered and down-curved antennae, long thin abdomens, elongated forewings, and hindwings that are noticeably greater in area than the forewings.
The genus Dismorphia comprises of 30 species, most of which are sexually dimorphic ( hence the name Dismorphia ) - in other words the males and females differ in pattern and colouring. Many of the species are mimetic, e.g. D. theucharila mimics Oleria glasswings, and D. amphione is a mimic of the tiger-complex Ithomiines.
Dismorphia thermesia ( not to be confused with the similarly named thermesina ) has a prominent black bar on the upperside forewings, extending from the basal area to the end of the discal cell. The female lacks this bar, and has more rounded wings, but is otherwise similar.
This butterfly occurs in Guyana, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and western Bolivia.
Habitats
This species inhabits transitional rainforest / cloudforest habitats at altitudes between about 400-1200 metres. It appears to be most frequently encountered along roadsides, well lit forest trails, around the edges of small clearings, and along the banks of small streams.
Lifecycle
To be completed.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies are locally common - usually if you find one there will be several others nearby. As with other Dismorphiines the flight is unhurried, with gentle wing beats and frequent periods of inactivity. Both sexes tend to fly mainly in overcast or hazy conditions and will continue to fly in light rain, but avoid full sunlight. They commonly visit flowers for nectar, and seem to have a preference for white flowers. I have not observed males mud-puddling.

Dismorphia thermesia, male, Mariposa, Peru  Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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