Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - RIODINIDAE
subfamily - RIODININAE
Tribe - RIODININI
( image ©
are 1324 known species of Riodinidae in the neotropical region, 121
of which are placed in the genus Mesosemia,
and a further 8 in the closely related
Butterflies of both genera are commonly known as Eyemarks, due to
the prominent ocelli located in the discal cell of the forewings.
species are sexually dimorphic. The males of many are metallic blue,
marked with fine black lines and a black apex, while their females
are typically dark brown, and often marked with prominent white
bands. In most species there is a series of fine wavy black
submarginal lines on the hindwings although these are absent in
The female of
loruhama is similar
to the male but has a broad curved post-median band across fore and
In both sexes the underside pattern is similar to that of the
upperside, but is paler and less contrasty.
occurs in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
This species is found in undisturbed rainforest and cloudforest at
altitudes from about 200-2000m.
I have no data regarding loruhama but
the lifecycle is likely to be similar to that of other
Mesosemia species as follows: The eggs
are white and laid singly on stems or on the undersides of leaves.
The foodplants include Psychotria,
Cephalanthus and other understorey
Rubiaceae. The larvae are dull green, plump and slightly flattened.
They have a series of flattened lateral lobes below the spiracles,
and tufts of short stiff setae on the back and sides.
Males are usually seen singly, but
sometimes several can be found flying together in places where trees
have fallen and created small light gaps in the forest. The
butterflies have a rapid and erratic flight. They settle frequently on
the uppersides of leaves. After landing they immediately proceed to
walk about over the leaf, always holding their wings half open. As
they walk they constantly change direction, and move with a jerky
robotic or "clockwork toy" movement. In cloudy or rainy weather they
rest beneath the lower leaves of bushes or saplings.
are seen much more rarely, usually when flitting about just above the
herb layer in search of oviposition sites.