Mexico, USA & Canada
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - LIMENITIDINI
© Tony Hoare
are colloquially known as "Sisters". In terms of appearance they are
reminiscent of the White Admirals ( Limenitis
) of Eurasia, and share with them a fondness for flitting gracefully
around the lower branches of trees in the dappled sunlight of the
There are 85 known species of
Adelpha, all but one of which are
confined to Central and South America. The butterflies are
characterised by having a distinctive blackish marbled pattern
overlaid on a brown ground colour; and by the presence of a broad
orange or white band on the forewings. The hindwings of most species
have a white median band.
While it is easy to
recognise the genus, determining the individual species
can sometimes be very difficult - a problem exacerbated by
misidentified or mislabelled specimens in certain entomological
books. The only reliable identification resource is "The genus
Adelpha" by Keith Willmott.
identification requires careful examination of the configuration of
orange markings in the subapical area on the forewing. In most cases
it is also essential to examine the patterning on the undersides, by
which means otherwise similar species can be distinguished.
is commonest in Colombia, but it's range extends from Mexico to Peru
This species breeds in primary and disturbed rainforest habitats at
altitudes between sea level and about 1200m.
have no data specific to erotia. The
following generalisations apply to the genus
of most species are white or pale green, and are laid singly on
leaves of the foodplants which include
Rubiaceae, Moraceae, Urticaceae, Verbenaceae, Melastomaceae,
Bombacaceae, Ulmaceae, Piperaceae, Tiliaceae or Ericaceae according
young larvae nibble away at the tips of leaves, leaving the midrib
projecting. They construct a chain of frass along the midrib and
rest at the end of it. The frass chains appear to act as a deterrent
to ants, spiders and parasitoids which find it difficult to walk on
them. When fully grown the larvae are cryptically coloured and
resemble bird droppings, mossy twigs or bits of curled up dead leaf.
They have 2 rows of conspicuous spines along their backs, those on
the first two segments being enlarged and directed forward, while
the third pair are directed backward. The pupae, which are suspended
by the cremaster, are in some species green or brown, while others
are entirely silver, and shiny. The pupae of some species are
decorated with numerous spikes and projections, and sometimes have
very prominent palpi.
usually seen singly, or in two's and three's, perching on sunlit
foliage in the forest.
Males often visit damp ground to
imbibe mineral rich water. They will also settle on rocks, where they
exude water from the tip of the abdomen, depositing it on the rock,
and then re-imbibing it, and by this method are able to extract
dissolved minerals from the rocks.