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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Common Wanderer
Leptophobia tovaria  FELDER & FELDER, 1861
Family - PIERIDAE
subfamily - PIERINAE
Leptophobia tovaria maruga, Otun-Quimbaya, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
In the neotropical region there are a total of 192 representatives of the subfamily Pierinae.
The genus Leptophobia comprises of 20 currently known species. Three of these have only recently been discovered ( 2000-2003 ) and are as yet unnamed.
Most Leptophobia species are white or cream coloured on the upperside, with dark brown or black margins, but these vary in extent from species to species. The underside hindwings are pure white in tovaria, yellow in caesia, bright reflective silver in penthica, dull brown in cinerea, and a silky greenish white in eleone.
All Leptophobia are high altitude species, and are variously distributed from Costa Rica to Bolivia and Argentina.
Leptophobia tovaria is found from Panama to Bolivia and Argentina. There are 10 subspecies, 4 of which occur in Colombia.
Leptophobia tovaria maruga, Tatama NP, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This is a cloudforest species found in the vicinity of streams and small rivers at altitudes of between about 1400-2200 metres. The butterflies fly throughout the year.
Leptophobia tovaria maruga, Otun-Quimbaya, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins
Lifecycle
I have no data regarding tovaria, but other Leptophobia species are known to use Capparidaceae, Brassicaceae and Tropaeolaceae as larval foodplants. These plants contain mustard oils so it seems likely that the larvae would be noxious to birds, and that these properties are transmitted to the adult butterflies.
The eggs are spindle-shaped, yellowish in colour, and laid either singly or in clusters of up to 20, according to species. The caterpillars are green, sometimes with blue or orange markings, and are slightly hairy. They live gregariously in groups of mixed instars. It is interesting also to note that according to DeVries the larvae are able to walk on the surface film of water.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies are usually encountered singly in the vicinity of streams and waterfalls. They fly low over the ground with a rapid erratic zigzag flight. Males imbibe mineralised moisture from seepages, road surfaces and the shores of shallow streams.

Both sexes visit Lantana, Impatiens, Nasturtium and various other flowers for nectar.

 

 

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