Moths of the Amazon
Superfamily - NOCTUOIDEA
Family - NOCTUIDAE
Rio Madre de Dios, 400m, Peru ©
Agaristinae is comprised of about 150 genera found across tropical
and subtropical regions of the world.
There are 12
Seirocastnia species, variously
distributed from Costa Rica to Peru and Brazil. All are black with
bright yellow markings, and have slightly clubbed antennae.
Seirocastnia amalthea is found in Peru,
and probably also in Brazil and Ecuador.
This species inhabits rainforest at elevations between about
In August 2009, I found about half a dozen adults of this species
aggregating with Euchontha frigida,
Cyllopoda claudicula and various
butterflies, imbibing mineralised moisture from the edge of a tiny
stream emptying into the Rio Madre de Dios in Peru.
The bold saffron-on-black pattern
suggests that this species is either toxic to birds, or has evolved to
mimic other species that are toxic.