The incredibly diverse and stunning moths and butterflies of the tropical American rainforest...
While most butterflies feed on nectar from flowers, they can also be seen slurping away at urine, scat (animal poo, above) or dead animals. They can glean extra nutrients from these sources that include sodium and nitrogen, as these are not present in the sugar-rich but generally nutrient-poor nectar. Some observers point out the butterflies that feed in this way are more often males. It has been suggested that these extra nutrients may be passed along from the male to the female as a nuptial gift in a spermatophore for their egg production.
Papilio thoas, 'King Swallowtail’ or ‘Thoas Swallowtail’.
Leptophobia aripa, 'Green-eyed White'. As suggsted by the name, it is pale, with green eyes! Also has two yellow spots on hindwings near body. Found throughout Neotropics
Lasaia agesilas, ‘Metamark’.
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.
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'.
Methona themisto, ‘Bates Butterfly’.
Memphis sp., 'Leaf Butterfly'.
Cithaerias pireta, 'Blushing Phantom', 'Pink-tipped Clearwing'.
This genus has over 40 species.
(Manu Road, Peru)
(Manu Road, Peru)
Actinote sp. from above wings open (above left), and from the side wings closed (above right)
Adelpha cythera, ’Smooth-banded Sister’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).
Doxocopa agathina, ‘Agathina Emperor’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazi).
Hamadryas sp. 'Cracker Butterfly' (Villa Carmen Lodge, Peru).
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).
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).
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 euclides, 'Eighty-nine Butterfly'.
Marpesia berania, ‘Amber Daggerwing’. (Iguazu Falls, Brazi).
Marpesia zerynthia, 'Waiter Daggerwing',
Hypanartia lethe ‘Orange Mapwing/Admiral’.
Junonia evarete,’ Buck-eye’, ‘Pansy’.