Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
Tribe - PYRGINI
Manu 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
species, of which about 580 are assigned to the tribe Pyrgini.
There are 2
members of the genus Spioniades, which
is allied to Quadrus,
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.
Tatama NP, Colombia ©
This species is found in rainforest and cloudforest at elevations
between about 400-1800m.
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,
Uncaria ( Rubiaceae ).
butterfly is usually encountered singly, basking on the upper surface
of foliage. The brown and white patterning has probably evolved to
mimic bird droppings.
cloudforest, 900m, Peru ©