Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Golden Mountain Satyr
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
Lymanopoda translucida, Manu cloudforest, 2000m, Madre de
Dios, Peru ©
There are 1100 known species of Satyrinae in the neotropical region.
About 570 of these are placed in the
subtribe Pronophilina - a diverse group of high altitude cloudforest
butterflies, all of which are confined to the neotropical region.
The vast majority are found only in the Andes, but 4 species are
known from the Atlantic cloudforests of Brazil, and there are a
further 6 species that are endemic to Guatemala, Costa Rica or
Mexico. More oddly there is one genus Calisto
that is found exclusively on the Caribbean islands of Cuba and
The genus Lymanopoda
comprises 57 small species, all of which share the same wing shape.
Many of them have only been discovered since the 1990's and it is
certain that additional species will be found as the cloudforests
are more intensively explored. All species in this genus are
restricted to the Andes, with the exceptions of
cinna which is Guatemalan, and
euopis which is Costa Rican.
There are several other species which can easily
be confused with translucida, including
araneola. Only translucida,
araneola have an acute forewing apex. The illustrated
butterfly could possibly be araneola or
hockingiana, but in both of these the
hw discal bar is normally yellow rather than white.
is found in the eastern Andes of southern Peru and Bolivia.
This species breeds in grassy cloudforest habitats at altitudes of
The lifecycle appears to be unrecorded. The following
generalisations are applicable to the subtribe Pronophilina and
probably also apply to
eggs are round, white or pale greenish white, and laid singly on the
foodplants or on surrounding vegetation. The larvae are typically
pale brown, marked along the back and sides with narrow dark
stripes, and tapering towards each end. The head is large in
proportion to the body and has two short forward-pointing horns. The
tip of the abdomen is equipped with a pair of caudal prongs which
are used to flick the frass away from the feeding area.
The larvae of all known Pronophilina feed on
Chusquea - a genus of bamboo which
grows in thickets, mainly along the courses of streams.
Males are usually encountered
singly, imbibing moisture
from damp rocky roadsides, often in the company of other
Pronophilines. They are quite active in sunny conditions, but will
remain stationary if they find a rich source of dissolved minerals,
and will then remain in the same spot for several minutes even if mist