Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
GODMAN & SALVIN, 1887
Family - LYCAENIDAE
subfamily - THECLINAE
Tribe - EUMAEINI
Tingo Maria, Peru ©
Almost all neotropical Theclinae species are placed in the Eumaeini.
The tribe is not particularly well represented in collections, so
until fairly recently a high percentage remained unstudied, and were
inappropriately filed away in the 'convenience' genus
Thecla. Many taxonomists have attempted
to rationalise the systematics of the Eumaeini, the most recent
being Robbins who published a revision in 2004, reclassifying the
taxa into 83 genera. Currently there are 1058 known species. Taking
into account their small size, secretive behaviour, and the great
similarities between many species, it is estimated that about
another 200 species probably remain to be discovered.
Currently there are 33 known species of Erora,
of which 13 have only very recently been described to science, and
have not yet been allocated a species name. There is no doubt that
more await to be discovered. All have metallic green undersides, and
bear a filamentous tail on each hindwing, but the underside markings
vary considerably from species to species. The Mexican species
quaderna for example is pale emerald
green with numerous prominent orange crescents and chevrons on the
hindwings, whereas gabina,
and carla all have bright apple green
undersides with broken 'hairstreak' lines, and black-pupilled red
spots at the tornus.
Erora lampetia is distributed from
Costa Rica to Brazil and Peru.
This species is found in tropical and subtropical forests, and is
usually observed in disturbed areas where it can be found on bushes
or other low vegetation.
To be completed.
only observed males of this species. Some have been seen perching on
the foliage of small bushes or low herbage, while others have adopted
a rock-perching technique, sitting right at the tip of small rocks or
boulders. When they take to the wing the flight is very rapid,
irregular and almost impossible to follow with the eye, but the
butterfly invariably resettles within a metre or two of its original
perch, and can usually be relocated within a couple of minutes.
when I have encountered this species, it has been in slow but almost
constant motion, walking about on rocks or leaves, usually in a fairly
straight line, but with a very distinctive and irregular jiggling
movement. From a couple of meters away this gives the impression of a
bit of walking leaf - extremely reminiscent of a piece of leaf that is
being transported over the ground in the jaws of a leaf-cutter ant.