NEOTROPICAL Tropical & Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forest
butterflies

The incredibly diverse and stunning moths and butterflies of the tropical American rainforest...

Order Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies

Family Papilionidae

Papilio thoas, King Swallowtail’ or ‘Thoas Swallowtail’. (Iguazu Falls, Brazi).

Family Nymphalidae

Hamadryas spp. 'Cracker Butterflies' include some 25 species throughout the Neotropics. They are usually spotted, and sometumes blend in when seen perched on trunks upside down. They get their common name from make a crackling sound during territorial displays. Unlike most other butterflies they don't feed on nectar from flowers, but are attracted to rotting fruit on the forest floor, sap and even animal dung.

Subfamily Danainae

Tribe Ithomiini

Greta spp. 'Clearwings'

The stunning transparent wings of the Clearwing Butterflies make them one of the most recognisable group in the Neotropics. There are some 25 species.

Greta sp., 'Clearwing Butterfly', (Manu road, Peru).

Methona spp.

Methona themisto, ‘Bates Butterfly’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Methona maxima, (Waychega, Peru).

Subfamily Charaxinae

Tribe Anaeini

Memphis sp., 'Leaf Butterfly' (Manu Road, Peru).

Subfamily Heliconiinae

Tribe Acraeini

Actinote spp.

This genus has over 40 species.

Actinote sp. from above wings open (Manu Road, Peru).

Actinote sp. from the side wings closed (Manu Road, Peru).

Subfamily Limenitidinae

Adelpha cythera, ’Smooth-banded Sister’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Subfamily Apaturinae

Doxocopa agathina, ‘Agathina Emperor’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazi).

Subfamily Biblidinae

Tribe Biblidini

Hamadryas spp. 'Crackers'

Hamadryas sp. 'Cracker Butterfly' (Villa Carmen Lodge, Peru).

Tribe Callicorini 'Eight-eights' and relatives

Perisama spp.

 A group of some 40 species of butterflies that small, usually black and blue butterflies, with number like markings on the underside. They live mostly in the high altitude rainforest of the Andes.

Perisama calamis, 'Royal Perisama', (Manu road, Peru).

Callicore spp. 'Number Wings'

About 20 species of butterfly that often have the pattern of a number on the underwings, usually looking like '88' in a similar way to their relatives the Diaethria.

Callicore hydaspes, ‘Number Wing’ (Iguazu, Brazil).

Diaethria spp. 'Eighty-eight Butterfly’ 

A famous group of a dozen species of butterfly that often have the pattern of a number on the underwings, usually looking like '88' in a similar way to their relatives the Callicore.

Diaethria cylmena, 'Eighty-eight Butterfly’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Diaethria, 'Eighty-eight Butterfly’ (Manu road, Peru).

Subfamily Cyrestinae

Marpesia berania, ‘Amber Daggerwing’. (Iguazu Falls, Brazi).

Subfamily Nymphalinae

Tribe Nymphalini

Hypanartia spp. 'Mapwings'

Hypanartia lethe ‘Orange Mapwing/Admiral’. (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Tribe Junoniini

Junonia evarete,’ Buck-eye’, ‘Pansy’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Family Riodinidae

Lasaia agesilas, ‘Metamark’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Lepidoptera to identify

(Machu Picchu, Peru).


Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? One of the first expeditions I am booked to work on is the NZ sub-Antarctics with Silversea Expeditions and Australia with Coral Expeditions. And here is a shortened version of one of my lectures in a warmer part of the world.