Butterflies of the
Amazon and Andes
Family - PAPILIONIDAE
Tribe - LEPTOCIRCINI
male, Catarata Bayoz, Le Merced, Peru
© Adrian Hoskins
Eurytides is comprised of 7 neotropical
species. They are closely allied to
Protographium, the three genera being
known collectively as Swordtails, due to the long narrow projections
on their hindwings.
species is found in Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
Eurytides serville is found in
association with primary rainforest at altitudes from sea level to
about 800m, in the foothills of the eastern Andes, and the lowlands
of the upper Amazonian region.
I have no information regarding this particular species, but the
following descriptions apply generally to the genus
The eggs are typically white, globular, and laid
singly on the young leaves of Guatteria,
Sapranthus ( Annonaceae ). Females tend to repeatedly visit a
chosen plant, upon which they may lay several eggs during the course
of a few hours.
larvae are wedge-shaped, tapering towards the tail end, and with the
thoracic segments enlarged. They are generally greenish, marbled or
spotted with darker markings, and are not adorned with spines or
tubercles. They normally rest with the head and tail slightly
with all other Papilionids the larvae are equipped with an eversible
osmaterium - a pair of fleshy forks on the first segment, from which
airborne chemical compounds are disseminated. Various theories have
been postulated as to the purpose of these pungent odours, which
appear to have no effect on avian predators or dipteran parasitoids.
It has been suggested that they may serve to warn off ants that
might otherwise molest them.
The pupae are usually brownish, with a prominent thoracic keel, and
resemble small pieces of dirty wood. They are always fixed
vertically by the cremaster and a silken girdle to twigs.
species is normally encountered as solitary males, which descend from
the canopy to imbibe mineralised moisture from the edge of puddles or
ditches. When feeding the butterflies are usually quite oblivious of
human intruders - the specimen in the photograph above received about
20 mins of close attention from a group of 4 photographers, but showed
no signs of the nervousness that is commonly found with other