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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Marchall's Andean White
Hesperocharis marchallii  GUÉRIN-MÉNEVILLE, 1844
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
Tribe - ANTHOCHARIDINI
Hesperocharis marchallii, Manu cloudforest, Peru © Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The tribe Anthocharidini, which includes the Orange-tip, Bath White and Dappled White butterflies of the Palaearctic region, is represented in the neotropics by the genera Eroessa, Mathania, Cunizza and Hesperocharis.
The genus Hesperocharis includes 12 known species, although it is likely that others still remain to be discovered. The uppersides of all species are creamy-white or yellow, usually with the forewing apex black or brownish. On the undersides, all members of the genus have dark veins and chevrons similar to those in the illustrated insect, although they vary in prominence from species to species. The short, white-tipped antennae are also characteristic of the genus.
Hesperocharis marchallii occurs in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. Most of the other species are also Andean, but a few occur in the Cordilleras of Costa Rica, the Sierras of Mexico, and the Atlantic cloudforests of Brazil.
Habitats
This species inhabits cloudforests at altitudes between about 1800-2400m.
Hesperocharis marchallii, Bosque She'llot, Peru © Adrian Hoskins
Lifecycle
I have no data relating to marchallii but the lifecycle is likely to be similar to that of Hesperocharis crocea from Costa Rica : The eggs are laid in batches on the leaves of Loranthaceae. The larvae, which feed gregariously, are a dull reddish colour, covered with fine white setae. The chrysalis is mottled in green, white and brown, and is said to resemble a bird dropping.
Adult behaviour

Males of marchallii are usually encountered in one's and two's, settled on wet ground where streams or runnels ford mountain roads. Females are scarce, but they are occasionally seen nectaring at Cavendishia ( Ericaceae ) or Rubus ( Rubiaceae ).

Hesperocharis marchallii, Bosque She'llot, Peru © Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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