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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Tomato
Temenis laothoe  CRAMER, 1777
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
subfamily - BIBLIDINAE
Tribe - EPIPHILINI
subtribe - EPIPHILINA
Temenis laothoe Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The genus Temenis is closely allied to Epiphile and Nica, in which the adults are structurally very similar. The 3 genera are biologically distinguished by differences in larval morphology.
There are 3 Temenis species. Temenis pulchra has more rounded wings than laothoe, and has a broad pinkish red diagonal band running from midway along the costa to the tornus. The inner two-thirds of the wings are also bright pinkish red, and are flushed with a purple sheen. The 3rd species huebneri has a similar wing shape to laothoe, but is dark brown with a broad orange band across the forewings, and orange hindwings.
Temenis laothoe is the commonest and most widely distributed member of the genus, and is found from Mexico to Bolivia.
Habitats
This species is found mainly in primary rainforest and transitional rainforest / cloudforest habitats at altitudes between 0-1600m. It also occurs in much lower numbers in humid deciduous habitats such as Guanacaste in Costa Rica.
Lifecycle
The eggs are white, and laid singly on leaves of Serjania, Paullinia, Cardiospermum, Urvillea and other shrubs and vines in the family Sapindaceae. These plants contain toxins which are probably sequestered by laothoe larvae, and passed on to the adult butterflies, rendering them unpalatable and noxious to birds.

Temenis laothoe Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

The butterflies often settle to bask on foliage, typically at height between 2-3 metres above ground level. They also commonly bask on logs, fallen branches, wooden fence posts and tree stumps. When basking the wings are always held in a three-quarters open position.

Males often hop about from spot to spot on the ground on river beaches, peccary wallows, semi-dry stream beds and wet roadsides. They are nervous in disposition and often fan their wings slowly when they stop momentarily to imbibe moisture. If undisturbed they settle down after a few minutes to rest with their wings held erect.

Temenis laothoe Adrian Hoskins

 

 

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