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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Cosinga Hawker
Metardaris cosinga  HEWITSON, 1874
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRRHOPYGINAE
Metardaris cosinga, Manu cloudforest, 2800m, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The subfamily Pyrrhopyginae comprises 163 species, most of which are confined to the Neotropics, although a few occur in Mexico, and a single species Apyrrothrix araxes reaches Arizona.
The Pyrrhopyginae are characterised by having a massive muscular thorax and a conical abdomen with compressed segments. The wings of most species are black, often with a metallic blue sheen, and are swept back, half covering the hindwings when the butterflies settle.
The genus Metardaris consists of a single species, cosinga. It is a large and unmistakable species with a wingspan of about 6cms.
It occurs only in southern Peru and Bolivia.

Metardaris cosinga, Manu cloudforest, 2800m, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
Metardaris cosinga occurs at elevations between about 2500-3000m in the transition zone between the cloudforests and puna grasslands of the high Andes. It forms localised colonies.
Metardaris cosinga, Manu cloudforest, 2800m, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Lifecycle
Unknown.

Metardaris cosinga, Manu cloudforest, 2800m, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

The heavy body and broad wings of the Cosinga Hawker give it a very characteristic whirring flight, reminiscent of hummingbirds. It can be seen close to mountain streams or waterfalls where it hawks back and forth low over the ground, periodically settling to imbibe mineralised moisture from damp earth or from amongst mosses.

Metardaris cosinga, Manu cloudforest, 2800m, Peru  Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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