Mexico, USA & Canada
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - SATYRINAE
Tribe - MELANITINI
There are 1100 known species of Satyrinae in the neotropical region.
The systematic placement of Manataria
within the Satyrinae was for many years very uncertain. Lamas took
the first step in 2004 when he placed it in the subtribe Parargina,
considering it to be closely allied to the European genera
Lasiommata and Kirinia, and the
Oriental Lethe. In 2006 Wahlberg, Peña
published the results of a DNA sequence analysis of the higher level
phylogeny of Satyrine butterflies, resulting in the transferral of
Manataria to the tribe Melanitini, and
thereby recognising it as a close relative of the African
Gnophodes and Oriental
Melanitis Evening Browns.
The genus Manataria
comprises of a single species hercyna,
which is distributed across most tropical and subtropical regions of
Central America and South America, from Mexico to Bolivia.
© Adrian Hoskins
This butterfly is migratory, and consequently can be found in a
diverse range of habitats including lowland primary rainforest,
deciduous forest, cloudforest, puna grasslands, cattle pastures and
urban environments. It has been recorded at all elevations between
foodplant is reported to be Chusquea
but in view of the relationship between
Manataria and Melanitis it seems
more likely that grasses are used.
© Adrian Hoskins
butterflies are crepuscular / nocturnal in behaviour, and most
commonly seen when they enter houses at night, or when attracted to
moth traps. At dusk they can be attracted to rotting plantain or to
shrimp paste bait. Despite being a common species, they are nearly
always seen singly.