Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
tribe - EUDAMINI
Maria, 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
Eudamini includes 44 genera in the Americas. There are several
genera of Long-tailed Skippers Urbanus,
Polythrix, Typhedanus and
Aguna; which together comprise of about
of long-tailed Skippers usually have either a thin white median
band, or a pattern of diaphanous spots, the configuration of which
varies according to genus and species. A feature that helps narrow
down the genus is the pattern on the underside hindwings. In
Aguna for example these are marked with
a prominent white median band, while Chioides
and Typhedanus are marbled with
blackish markings. Urbanus species
typically have a fairly plain underside marked with parallel dark
bands, although in several species the inner band is broken up into
a series of 3 or 4 large blotches.
are 34 Urbanus species, distributed
variously from Texas to Paraguay and Argentina.
Urbanus dorantes is one of the most widespread members of the
genus, being distributed from the southern United States to Peru.
Catarata Bayoz, Le Merced, Peru ©
Like most Urbanus species this
butterfly is usually associated with disturbed habitats including
forest glades and clearings, roadsides and pastures,
between sea level and about 1500m.
The eggs of
Urbanus are typically cream or greenish
in colour, barrel-shaped and have about 15 vertical ridges. They are
laid in small clusters on the undersurface of leaves. The foodplants
vary from species to species, but are usually either grasses or
herbs in the family Leguminosae.
Catarata Bayoz, Peru ©
are usually seen singly, basking with wings half-open on low foliage.
In hot sunny conditions the wings are held erect over the back.
Lantana and other flowers for nectar.