Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - SATYRINI
cloudforest, 2800m, Peru ©
There are 1100 known species of Satyrinae in the neotropical region.
About 570 of these are placed in the
subtribe Pronophilina - a diverse group of high altitude cloudforest
butterflies, all of which are confined to the neotropical region.
The vast majority are found only in the Andes, but 4 species are
known from the Atlantic cloudforests of Brazil, and there are a
further 6 species that are endemic to Guatemala, Costa Rica or
Mexico. More oddly there is one genus Calisto
that is found exclusively on the Caribbean islands of Cuba and
The genera Steroma
and Steremnia comprise of small dark
butterflies, with a characteristic angular apex, and deeply
scalloped hindwings. There are 5 Steroma
species - bega,
modesta, superba and another 2
species that have not yet been assigned scientific names.
Steroma modesta is
known only from Bolivia and Peru.
This is a high elevation cloudforest species, occurring at altitudes
between about 2000-3000m.
The lifecycle appears to be unrecorded. The following
generalisations are applicable to the subtribe Pronophilina and
probably also apply to
eggs are round, white or pale greenish white, and laid singly on the
foodplants or on surrounding vegetation. The larvae are typically
pale brown, marked along the back and sides with narrow dark
stripes, and tapering towards the tail. The head is large in
proportion to the body and has two short forward-pointing horns. The
tip of the abdomen is equipped with a pair of caudal prongs that are
used to flick the frass away from the feeding area.
The larvae of all known Pronophilina feed on
Chusquea - a genus of bamboo that grows
in thickets, mainly along the courses of streams.
Males can be found on sunny
mornings, in the company of other Pronophilines, imbibing moisture
from mud, damp sand or rocks. Like other montane Satyrines they are
fairly sedentary by nature, and not easily disturbed when at rest.