Mexico, USA & Canada
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Diaethria anna, Mexico
© Tony Hoare
89 or 88 numerals which appear on the underside hindwings of
anna are present in all
Diaethria species but vary in colour,
thickness and shape. In clymena for
example the lines are thick and the markings form an '88' figure,
whereas in others such as anna they are
confined to the neotropical region - there are 3 species found in
Mexico, while the remainder are Amazonian or Andean.
The upperside of anna
and most other Diaethria species are
blackish, marked on the forewings with a diagonal band, usually in
metallic blue or green. In some forms of anna
these bands reflect pastel pink tones under certain lighting
Diaethria anna is found from Costa Rica
to Mexico, and as a rare stray in Texas.
Diaethria anna, showing pink
reflections, Mexico ©
This species is
found in wet tropical forests at elevations between about 200-1200m.
The eggs, in common with those of other
Diaethria species, are whitish, and laid singly on the leaves
of the foodplant.
when fully grown is green, with a double row of pale spots along the
back. The head is adorned with a pair of very long whorled spines.
The larval foodplant is Trema (
chrysalis projects horizontally, attached by the cremaster from a
stem. It is green, with white dots on the back.
As with all
Diaethria species the males are strongly attracted to
urine-soaked sand, and also imbibe dissolved minerals from damp soil,
road surfaces and rock faces. They are very active butterflies, easily
disturbed, and rarely settle for more than a few seconds at a time in
one spot, although they will return repeatedly to the same patch of
are usually seen in two's or three's, but sometimes congregate in
large numbers at favoured spots.