Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Orange-bordered Pixie
Melanis cinaron  FELDER & FELDER, 1861
subfamily - RIODININAE
Melanis cinaron, Manu cloudforest, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
The name Melanis refers to the melanic pigment of the black scales which cover the distinctively shaped wings of all members of this genus. Many Melanis species are marked with orange borders on the hindwings, and / or similarly coloured diagonal bands on the forewings. In some species the apex of the forewings is orange, and in others there are large red spots near the base of the wings.
There are 27 known members in the genus. One particularly attractive species, M. pixe, has a range extending from Mexico to Panama, but the majority of species are found in the Andes mountains, or in the Amazonian lowlands.
Melanis cinaron occurs in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
This species inhabits pre-montane rainforest and cloudforest at altitudes between about 900-2000m.
I have no information specific to cinaron but the lifecycle is likely to be similar to that of other Melanis species : The larvae are hairy, and feed gregariously on the leaves of trees in the family Leguminosae. The pupae are said to be formed in clusters on tree trunks.
Adult behaviour

The butterflies have a slow fluttery flight, drifting gracefully above the vegetation at a height of about 1-2m above ground level. They favour overcast conditions and will fly even during light rain. On cloudy days they are often one of the first species to be seen on the wing. In sunny conditions they remain hidden beneath leaves, but if cool will venture out to nectar at Eupatorium or Lantana.



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