the Amazon rainforest
Tribe - BRASSOLINI
Pantiacolla, Rio Alto Madre de Dios, Peru
The Morphinae includes an estimated
140-150 neotropical species, 93 of which are placed in the tribe
Brassolini. Of these, 73 are placed in the Brassolina - a
Opoptera, Penetes, Opsiphanes,
All are crepuscular or nocturnal in behaviour, although a few
species also fly by day in the darkest areas within their
Opsiphanes comprises of 11 known species
distributed variously from Mexico to Paraguay and Argentina. The
butterflies are noted for their robust bodies, large heads and
eyes. The forewing costa is strongly curved, and the termen
slightly concave. In all species the upperside wings are earthy
brown in colour with a diagonal orange band on the forewings
starting midway along the costa and terminating at the tornus. The
undersides of all species are a pale dingy hue, heavily marked
with dark striations on the outer half of the wings, and marbled
at the base. The hindwings also bear a very conspicuous mark in
the form of an ocellus or swollen comma near the costa, and a
smaller almost circular ocellus near the tornus.
Opsiphanes cassiae occurs from Mexico to Bolivia.
This species is found in primary and secondary rainforest, at altitudes
up to about 1000m.
I have no data relating
specifically to cassiae, but the following applies
to Opsiphanes in general :
The eggs are globular, and laid
singly, typically on the stems or dead leaf blades of the foodplants. The larvae
feed, depending on species, on Heliconia (
Heliconiaceae ), Musa ( Musaceae ),
Bactris ( Arecaceae ) and probably other
monocotyledons - coconuts, bananas, palms etc. The larvae are typically pale
earthy brown in colour, with numerous fine dark lines along the back and sides.
They have a pair of prominent caudal prongs, and their heads bear a crown of
between 4-8 horns.
are usually encountered at dawn, often in two's and three's, in
the company of Eryphanis,
Narope, Prepona and
Memphis species, feeding at rotting
fruit on the forest floor. At such times they are usually so
engrossed in feeding that they are very reluctant to move. They
also feed at decomposing fruit in the canopy, and occasionally at
peccary dung or urine.