Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - EPICALIINI
subtribe - EPIPHILINA
Epiphile imperator, male, Rio Kosnipata valley, Manu, Peru ©
The Biblidinae are recognised by their diverse
but simple and colourful patterns. In the neotropics their
representatives include the
tribe Epiphilina, which includes the genera
Bolboneura and Epiphile.
There are 16
Epiphile species, distributed variously
from Mexico to Bolivia.
All have a similar pattern of bright orange bands on a dark brown
ground colour. In males of most species the dark areas are overlaid
with a strong purple-blue iridescence. In females the orange is
replaced by white, and there is no iridescence. The underside
hindwings of all species are similar to those of
imperator, having a marbled pattern
with a series of post-median ocelli and a cream 'tooth' mark on the
is confined to Ecuador and Peru.
This species is found on the eastern slope of the Andes, at
altitudes between about 400-1200m.
To be completed.
butterflies spend most of the day high in the canopy, but males
occasionally descend to imbibe mineralised moisture from the edges of
shallow streams. They never fully outspread their wings but often hold
them at an angle of 45°, or fan them rapidly as they walk over the wet