Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Royal Perisama
Perisama calamis fassli  RÖBER, 1915
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
subtribe - CALLICORINA

Perisama calamis fassli, Manu cloudforest, 1600m © Adrian Hoskins
The Biblidinae are recognised by their diverse but simple and colourful patterns. In the neotropics their representatives include the Callicorina - a subtribe of small-medium sized butterflies, marked on the uppersides with bands of metallic blue or green. The Callicorina includes the genus Diaethria, instantly recognised by the 88 or 89 markings on the undersides, and Perisama, which are similar on the uppersides, but have plain undersides marked only with dots and wavy lines.
The genus Perisama comprises 32 known species. They are medium-sized butterflies with blackish uppersides, marked with diagonal bands of turquoise or green on the forewings. Many species also have a band of the same colour around the hindwing margins. Perisama species are found mostly in the Andean cloudforests at altitudes between 1200-2400m, but there is also a species endemic to Costa Rica, and another endemic to Mexico.
Perisama calamis is unusual amongst the genus, having the basal two-thirds of the forewings a shimmering royal blue, within which is a large patch of brilliant cyan. It is certainly one of the most brilliantly coloured and beautiful members of the genus.
The butterfly occurs in southern Peru and Bolivia.

Perisama calamis fassli, male, Manu cloudforest, 1600m © Adrian Hoskins
This species is found on the eastern slope of the Andes, at altitudes between about 1200-1800m.
The lifecycle of this and all other Perisama species appears to be unknown.

Perisama calamis fassli, Manu cloudforest, 1600m © Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

Like other Perisama species, the butterflies spend the early mornings and late afternoons settled high in the trees, but become very active in mid-morning, dashing back and forth between the tree tops and the surface of the ground.

This species is usually seen singly, sometimes in the company of other Perisama species, visiting damp ground close to human habitations. The butterfly is extremely active in hot sunshine, flitting rapidly back and forth just above the surface of the ground, stopping momentarily here and there on logs, stumps, rocks, wood-shavings and other objects.

In cloudy weather the butterflies are loathe to leave these favoured spots, and will bask for long periods on the ground, awaiting the return of sunshine. Only the threat of rain causes them to abandon their haunts and return to the nearby forest.



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