Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Peppered Blue Skipper
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
cloudforest, 900m, 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
About 580 species are placed within the tribe
Quadrus is closely allied to
Sostrata. These genera comprise of
small species sharing the characteristic Pyrgine wing shape and a
peppering of metallic blue scales overlaid on a dingy brown ground
colour. They also have
a series of small transparent windows on the forewings which has a
different configuration in each genus.
In total there are about 45 species in this group
of genera, 11 of which are placed in Quadrus.
are common and widespread, occurring throughout the Amazon and
Andes, although a few such as the Mexican
francesius have more restricted ranges.
Quadrus cerialis is
found from Panama to Bolivia.
This species occurs in rainforest, cloudforest and humid deciduous
forest habitats at altitudes between sea level and about 1400
The lifecycle appears to be unrecorded. Generally, Pyrgine
butterflies lay their eggs singly on either the upperside or
underside of leaves. The caterpillars are typically dull green or
brownish, with thin longitudinal lines along the back and sides, and
with black shiny heads. They feed typically on low growing
herbaceous plants, but some 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.
The butterfly is usually
encountered singly, or occasionally in two's or three's, and is active
mainly in hazy sunshine or early in the morning. In hot weather it
retires to the shade of the forest, occupying light gaps where the
sunlight filters through leaves. It periodically basks on the upper
surface of tree foliage at a height of about 2-3 metres, interspersed
with longer periods spent at rest beneath leaves with wings outspread.