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Butterflies of the Amazon and Andes
Pied Piper
Spioniades abbreviata  MABILLE, 1888
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI

Spioniades abbreviata, Manu cloudforest, 900m, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The 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, of which about 580 are assigned to the tribe Pyrgini.
There are 2 members of the genus Spioniades, which is allied to Quadrus, Sostrata and Eracon.
These genera all comprise of small to medium sized butterflies with a dark brown ground colour, a series of characteristically shaped semi-transparent windows on the forewings, and a peppering of silvery-blue metallic scales. Several Pythonides and Sostrata species also have one or more broad bands of blue scales on the hindwings, but only Spioniades have the large patch of white on the outer hindwings.
Spioniades abbreviata occurs from Nicaragua to Bolivia.
Spioniades abbreviata, Tatama NP, Colombia  Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
This species is found in rainforest and cloudforest at elevations between about 400-1800m.
Lifecycle
The fully grown larva is translucent yellowish-green and has a shiny brown head. It lives solitarily within a shelter constructed by folding and silking the tip of a leaf of the foodplant. In Costa Rica it has been recorded feeding on Sabicea, Chimarrhis and Uncaria ( Rubiaceae ).
Adult behaviour

The butterfly is usually encountered singly, basking on the upper surface of foliage. The brown and white patterning has probably evolved to mimic bird droppings.

Spioniades abbreviata, Manu cloudforest, 900m, Peru  Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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