Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - NYMPHALINI
Hypanartia dione, Tatama NP, Colombia ©
includes many of the most well known and beautiful Palaearctic
butterflies such as the Red Admiral Vanessa
atalanta, Painted Lady Vanessa cardui,
Camberwell Beauty Nymphalis antiopa,
Comma Polygonia c-album, and Peacock
Inachis io. Among the neotropical
representatives are Colobura,
Hypanartia includes 14 species. They occur primarily in
subtropical regions of the Andes and the Cordilleras of Central
America. Some species, e.g. splendida
and dione bear similarities to
Marpesia Daggerwings, but can be
distinguished from them by the presence of prominent white spots or
dashes in the median and apical areas of the forewings, and by the
Hypanartia dione occurs from Guatemala
to to southern Peru.
Hypanartia dione, Manu cloudforest, 2600m, Peru ©
This is butterfly of the higher cloudforest regions, found at
altitudes between about 1400-2700m.
The early stages appear to be unknown. The following applies in
general to butterflies in the genus Hypanartia
The eggs are pale in colour, and
laid singly on the leaves of the foodplant.
are typically dark and adorned with branched spikes. They live
solitarily within a tent of leaves spun together with silk.
The chrysalis is formed within
the larval tent. In most Hypanartia
species it is greyish, marked on the thorax with silver or gold
Hypanartia dione, Manu cloudforest, Peru ©
habitually visit runnels and seepages along roadsides, and the wet
rocky edges of mountain streams. They flit nervously from spot to spot
until they find a patch of ground rich in dissolved minerals, where
they drink, while periodically fanning their wings. After a few
moments they usually close the wings, but will bask with wings
outspread if mist or cloud obscures the sunlight.