Mexico, USA & Canada
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - APATURINAE
Tribe - APATURINI
© Adrian Hoskins
Doxocopa comprises of 15 medium-large neotropical butterflies
from the Apaturini - the same tribe to which the
Apatura Purple Emperors of Europe
Doxocopa butterflies reflect a brilliant iridescence from the
upperside wings. In some species such as
felderi this is deep purple, while in others it changes from
dazzling cyan or turquoise to an intense electric blue depending on
the angle of view and strength / direction of the sunlight.
Females lack the iridescence.
In several species the females are similar in appearance to
Adelpha, being marked with bands of
orange and / or white on a brown ground colour.
Doxocopa cyane is found from Mexico to
Bolivia and Argentina.
This is a mid-elevation taxon, found in pre-montane cloudforests
between about 200-1500m above sea level. In Peru it is confined to
the eastern slopes of the Andes.
The caterpillar feeds on Celtis species
( Ulmaceae ). When fully grown it is green, strongly tapered towards
the anal segment, and has a pair of forward-projecting horns on its
chrysalis is probably similar to that of other Apaturines, which are
typically flattened laterally, arched dorsally, and superbly
camouflaged as living or dead foliage.
Males are strongly territorial.
They perch on high foliage, and periodically swoop down with great
speed and agility to investigate rotting fruit, dung, urine or carrion
on the ground. They are solitary and nervous, but after a few minutes
will usually accept human presence. They are most often seen when
visiting wet muddy patches, or the edges of small streams where they
ford dirt roads.
Sightings of females are very rare, as they spend most of their time
high in the forest canopy.
© Adrian Hoskins