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Peruvian Amazon -- butterflies

Discussion in 'Field Trips (Natural Habitats)' started by moloch, Mar 2, 2010.

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    This post includes photos of the lepidopterans that I saw on my Margarita Tours trip to the Peruvian Amazon in January, 2010. I have posted two additional reports as well:

    Peruvian Amazon -- inverts:
    http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=174254


    Peruvian Amazon -- arachnids:
    http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=174092



    Butterflies were one of the highlights of my trip. I saw butterflies every time that I ventured into the forest. Often, I would see something beautiful and then never encounter it again for the remainder of the trip. Diversity of just about everything in tropics is staggering.

    I spent a fair amount of time in the late morning and afternoon chasing butterflies. Most of the butterflies only seemed to be active in sunny conditions during the middle of the day. This seemed to be true both in the open areas as well as within the forest. I found most of the larger species such as swallowtails and Morphos were hard to photograph. They tended to zip by without stopping. The smaller butterflies were more cooperative and I eventually was able to take quite a number of pics. I think that I photographed somewhere around half the species that I encountered.

    I am including what I think to be the names of these insects but please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. One thing that I discovered on the net is that butterfly classification like everything else has changed over the last few years. It seems now that most of the butterflies have been merged into Nymphalidae. I still prefer to think of Heliconidae, Ithomiidae, Satyridae and the like but it seems that these are now tribes of Nymphs.

    Scarlet Peakcock (Anartia fatima) -- common along edges of roads or the periphery of the forest.
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    White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae)
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    Tropical Buckeye (Junoniae varete) -- Here are three individuals that illustrate variability in pattern and colour.
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    Adelpha sp. -- very much like a Sister Butterfly in southern California.
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    Aenea sp. One of the "filthy habit" butterflies that sip moisture from animal faeces. I love this endearing term used by the lepidopterists.
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    Prola Beauty (Panacea prola) -- This butterfly was amazing. The outer lower wing was red but it always landed like this. I could not take a photo of the underwing colour. It seemed to exhibit curiosity and it would hover and even briefly land on us. This is another one of the "filthy habit" butterflies.
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    Archaeoprepona amphimachus -- This was a big Nymphalid that dropped to the trail and walked with its wings closed. It would occasionally flick its wings and the turquoise stripe shimmered each time. I thought the entire wing must be blue so was surprised when it perched and opened its wings to reveal only a small stripe of blue. The butterfly seemed to be curious and it hovered around me for a few moments before ascending and landing on a sunlit leaf.
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    Historis odius -- The inner surface of the wings were a beautiful orange and black. When closed, the wings resembled a dead leaf. The butterfly flew aboard the Nenita and was trapped in the dining room. It was responsive to the flash and would flick its wings slightly open when I photographed it. This butterfly is widely distributed and I saw it years ago in Nayarit.
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    "80" Buttefly (Callicore candrena) -- These butterflies would normally hold their wings closed but this one reacted to the flash and I was able to take an in-focus shot of the opened wings.
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    Another Callicore sp.-- "89" Butterfly When opened, the wings were striped scarlet and a deep, iridescent purple. Stunning!
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    Eresia nauplius -- This butterfly behaved like one of the aeroplane butterflies in Australia.
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    unknown 1: I found this butterfly at night. I initially thought it to be a moth until I saw its clubbed antennae. The wings were iridescent green.
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    A Daggerwing (Marpesia petreus) -- This beauty had lovely orange wings but it would always flick them in response to the flash. I could not take any nice shots of its upper wings.
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    Another Daggerwing -- It also gave me a hard time but I finally was able to take a shot where it held its wings open.
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    Morpho sp. -- These giant, gorgeous butterflies were common. Unfortunately, I almost always saw them in flight. They really were a dazzling sight as they flew low along the trails. We found a few asleep at night on branches that overhung creeks. The outer surface of the wings had many spots and they vaguely resembled the Owl Butterflies.
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    Morpho sp. -- This was a "half-and-half" morpho with half of the inner surface black and the other a glistening turquoise.
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    Morpho achilles -- This rather drab morpho actually landed for a few minutes and held its wings open. For morphos, this seems to be a rare event at least in the forest understorey.
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    Owl Butterfly (Calligo sp.) -- Their inner wings were a dull orange and purple. These were crepuscular butterflies. I usually saw them in flight at dusk along the Rio Orosa.
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    Temenis laothoe -- another beauty that would flick its wings to the camera flash. I obtained one out of focus shot of the inner wings but at least the amazing colours can be seen.
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    Hamadryas laodamia -- I only saw one of these at the toilet block of Santa Cruz.
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    Colobura dirce -- I love the disruptive pattern on the outer wings. The butterfly landed on a vine and slowly approached the other. It touched it with its feet and tongue before sipping something on the surface of the plant. I think that these are two different butterfly species.
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    Bia actorion -- yet another interesting Nymphalid. Ed caught one so that we could examine the inner wings.
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    Eunica eurota -- It had dark lower wings but it fortunately flicked these open when I took the photo. The inner wings are beautiful.
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    Nessaea sp. -- I only saw one of these pretty Nymphalids at Madre Selva.
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    Philaethria dido -- We saw these pretty butterflies on several occasions. This one was yet another butterfly that sipped at drying clothes.
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    Oleriao nega? -- It was initially caught in the web of a spider. After I took this photo, it flicked its wings and then was free. This wing shape was typical of many butterflies that lived within the forest interior. Most Heliconiinae, Ithomyiinae, some Pieridae and some Nymphalidae all share this wing shape.
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    Clearwing butterflies like this were common but hard to photograph. They were almost invisible in the dark interior of the forest.
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    One of the Longwings (probably Heliconius sara):
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    Another Heliconius. There are a number of very similar species so I don't know which of these it is.
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    Julia (Dryas julia)
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    I love the wing shape but don't know what family/tribe it is:
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    Eresia eunice? -- lovely and common at Madre Selva.
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    Vila emilian?
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    Metalmarks were common and some of these were absolutely spectacular.
    Arcius Swordtail (Rhetus arcius) -- -- Incredible! I saw a few but usually they would drop beneath a leaf where I could not photograph them. This one was cooperative and remained here on the ground for several minutes. It completely ignored the flashing camera.
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    Blue-washed Metalmark (Semomesia heteroea. -- I saw several of these lovely blue metalmarks at the Allpahuayo Mishona reserve. Many had black spiral markings on the upper wing.
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    Eyemark (Mesosemia sp) -- Only seen at Allapahuayo Mishona.
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    Orange-stitched Metalmark (Chalodeta chaonitis or Charis cleonus?) -- I like the delicate scales along the edge of the wings.
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    Lasaia sula -- one of these was licking the sweaty label of a shirt.
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    Amarynthis meneria -- A pretty species that I saw a few times at Santa Cruz.
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    Calydna punctata -- a few observed at Santa Cruz.
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    Metacharis lucius -- once only at Santa Cruz.
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    Adelotypa huebneri?. Like many of this tribe, it would land beneath a leaf where photography was awkward.
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    no idea:
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    Satyurinae were abundant within the forest. Many had clear or translucent wings so were hard to see clearly in the dim light of the understorey. These butterflies were often seen as they flew a few cms above the leaf litter. Those with clear wings were particularly hard to follow.
    Hermeuptychia sp.?
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    Lucia Pierella (Pierella lucia)?
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    Lucia Pierella (Pierella lucia)?
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    Piera Satyr (Haetera piera)?
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    One of the hairstreaks. I did not see many of this family at all in the forest.
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    Skippers were numerous. The most common of these had broad wings that they held open when sitting.
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    One of the longtails (Polythrixor sp.)?
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    Moths
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    Same family (Uraniidae) as the Zodiac Moth up in the tropics of far northern Queensland.
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    A rather standard looking Sphyinx:
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    A wonderful wasp mimic:
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    Stinging Caterpillars
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    I found a few useful websites. Something obvious, though, was the variation in names. It looks like butterfly taxonomy is in a state of flux just like all other animals.

    http://neotropicalbutterflies.com/index.html

    Reptiles from Madre Selva will be the subject of my next post.





    Regards,
    David
     
  2. LovePets

    LovePets Arachnosquire

    Veeeeeeeery nice

    WOW,awesome post,10x for sharing.
    My fav is rhetus arcius,amazing butterfly. :drool: :drool:
     
  3. harmroelf

    harmroelf Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Wow im amazed and touched by the beauty of creation once more, this is overwhelming!
     
  4. spiderfield

    spiderfield Arachnobaron

    CA
    Absolutely beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing.
     
  5. tarcan

    tarcan Arachnoking Old Timer

    wow, these buterflies are really amazing... thanks for sharing
     
  6. Great photos. I KNOW how hard it is to photograph butterflies in the wild. You managed to get some great photos of lots of species. Thanks for sharing. :clap:
     
  7. Pro_bug_catcher

    Pro_bug_catcher Arachnopeon

    Thank you for sharing your photos. It's always fun to see species I've never seen, or new pictures of species I've seen!
     
  8. Morphos (especially the blue ones) never cease to amaze me with their beauty. The 'filthy habit' butterflies, on the other hand, kind of corrupt the delicate stereotype, though, huh? :barf: :eek: I've never heard of that before.
     
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