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Butterfly-watching Holidays
Peru 2008
Section 5 - Pantiacolla

Pantiacolla mountains, Rio Alto Madre de Dios  Adrian Hoskins

After 3 days at San Pedro we continued by road to the village of Atalaya, where we boarded our motorized longboat for the 3 hour journey to Pantiacolla Lodge on the Rio Alto Madre de Dios. Thunderstorms and heavy rain the previous night had caused the river levels to rise, so we abandoned our plan to search sandbanks along the route, and arrived at Pantiacolla mid-afternoon, in time to take some exploratory walks on the trails.

Pantiacolla mountains, Rio Alto Madre de Dios  Adrian Hoskins
The trail system at Pantiacolla is extensive and allows access to many different types of forest at altitudes between 500-1200m. On the following 2 days we explored several of the trails, concentrating on those within about 2 kms of the lodge.
Callicore eunomia, Pantiacolla, Rio Alto Madre de Dios  Adrian Hoskins
On the darker trails Ithomiines were particularly well represented -  the sheer variety of different Glasswing species is quite amazing. To the inexperienced these transparent butterflies all look much the same, but I was fascinated to discover that virtually every insect I photographed turned out to be a different species.

Panacea prola, Pantiacolla, Rio Alto Madre de Dios, Peru  Adrian Hoskins
The star attractions for most of the group however were not the Ithomiines, but the 2 stunning Panacea species prola and regina, both having large black wings banded with a gorgeous metallic blue-green pattern. In contrast the underside wings are bright red - a combination that makes them irresistible to the photographers !
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