Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - ERYNNINI
Mylon zephus, Manu cloudforest, 1700m, Peru ©
Pyrginae, popularly known as Flats or Spreadwings, are a
cosmopolitan subfamily distributed across temperate and tropical
habitats throughout the world. In the Americas there are 990 species.
The genus Mylon
contains 15 known species, all with the same characteristic wing
shape and pale greyish-white ground colour. Some species like
pelopidas are faintly marked, while
others are quite heavily marbled with dark brown.
Mylon zephus is
distributed from Colombia and Venezuela to southern Peru.
This species occurs in rainforest and cloudforest habitats at
elevations between about 400-2000m on the eastern slopes of the
The lifecycle appears to be unrecorded. Generally, Pyrgine
butterflies lay their eggs singly on either the upperside or
underside of leaves. The larvae are typically dull green or
brownish, with thin longitudinal lines along the back and sides, and
with black shiny heads. They feed typically on herbaceous plants,
but a small percentage feed on the leaves of bushes or trees. The
pupae are usually dark and smooth, with the wing cases in a
contrasting tone or colour. They are normally formed within silken
tents formed by spinning together the leaves of the foodplant.
In cloudy conditions the
butterflies fly in open areas along roadsides, nectaring at flowers of
various species. In hot and sunny conditions the males settle on the
ground to imbibe moisture from the edges of puddles and ditches.