Mexico, USA & Canada
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - CHARAXINAE
Tribe - ANAEINI
© Adrian Hoskins
tribe Anaeini comprises of 87 neotropical species in the genera
The butterflies are characterised by having a very rapid and strong
flight. They have stout bodies, falcate wings, and on the upper
surface are generally black, marked with bands of orange, bright
red, or lustrous blue according to species. The undersides of all
species in the Anaeini are cryptically patterned and bear a strong
resemblance to the dead leaves, tree bark or boulders on which they
The genus Fountainea
comprises 8 species distributed throughout the neotropical region.
The upperside of
Fountainea halice is
bright orange-red, with dark markings at the apex.
species is found throughout lowland areas from Mexico to Bolivia.
This species breeds in lowland primary and secondary rainforest, and
in moist deciduous forests at altitudes between sea level and about
The eggs are
white, and laid singly on the foliage of the foodplants.
grown larva is green, with paler longitudinal lines along the back,
and lightly marbled with reddish brown and white along the sides. It
has a large head that is adorned with a pair of short horns. The
larva lives within a cell made by rolling up a leaf and securing it
with fine silk. It feeds on saplings of Croton
- a tree in the Euphorbiaceae.
chrysalis is suspended by the cremaster from a stem or leaf.
It is pale greenish, with the wing cases edged in pale yellow. The
head and thorax form a barrel shaped section, and the abdominal
segments are highly compressed, forming a short cone.
The butterflies are usually seen
singly, typically as the sole Fountainea
species amongst a mixed group of Memphis,
Taygetis species that have aggregated to feed at dung or
rotting fruit on the forest floor. Males also visit sewage seepages
and damp sandbanks to imbibe mineralised water.
The flight and general behaviour
is similar to that of other Charaxine genera. They tend to remain
settled either on foliage or on the ground for quite long periods. If
disturbed they fly up, circle around briefly, and then settle on the
foliage of a nearby tree. After a few minutes, when they feel safe,
they descend in a series of steps, often settling in dappled sunlight,
and at such times they often bask with wings half open. Eventually
they return to ground level, flitting about and fanning their wings
for a while before closing them.