Butterflies of the Andes
Telassina Firetip
Pyrrhopyge telassina  STAUDINGER, 1888
 introduction | habitats | lifecycle | adult behaviour

Pyrrhopyge telassina, Manu cloudforest, 1500m, Peru
The subfamily Pyrrhopyginae includes 163 known species, all of which are restricted to the neotropical region.
The butterflies are characterised by having a massive and muscular thorax, a large head, and a conical abdomen with compressed segments. The wings of most species are black, often with a metallic blue sheen.
Several genera, including Jemadia and Elbella have a pattern of hyaline "windows" on the forewings, and are marked with stripes and bands of brilliant blue and white. Other genera such as Mysarbia, Mysoria and Pyrrhopyge lack the hyaline windows, and are characterised instead by having bright pink or red markings on the head and / or on the tip of the abdomen.
The 38 species in the genus Pyrrhopyge are all similar in appearance - the ground colour is blackish, usually with a slight bluish or bronzy sheen. In most species the wing fringes are white, but in a few they are orange. All species have a red "fire-tip" to the abdomen. In several species the head is red, and in a few including telassina there is a pair of prominent red or orange shoulder stripes on the thorax.
Pyrrhopyge telassina occurs in Peru and Bolivia.

Pyrrhopyge telassina, Manu cloudforest, 1500m, Peru
This is a cloudforest species, found at altitudes between about 800-1800m.
To be completed.
Adult behaviour


In August 2008 in Manu cloudforest I witnessed an aggregation of several hundred of these splendid butterflies at the edge of a fast flowing river. Most were clustered very tightly at the base of a bridge, imbibing moisture from algae covered concrete. Only a few ventured away from this feeding area, which also attracted numerous other genera including Phoebis, Rhetus, Lasaia, Heraclides, Perisama, Eurema and Heliconius.



About me

Contact me

Butterfly study holidays

Trip reports

Butterfly diary - latest sightings

Frequently asked questions

Test your knowledge

Strange but true !

Where to find butterflies

Taxonomy & Evolution



Enemies of butterflies


Survival strategies

Migration / dispersal

Habitats - UK

Habitats - Tropical rainforests

Butterfly world census


Butterfly photography

Butterflies of the British Isles

Butterflies of Europe

Butterflies of Amazon & Andes

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Africa

Butterflies of India & Nepal

Butterflies of Malaysia

Butterflies of Papua New Guinea

Butterflies of Australia

Butterflies of New Zealand

Moths - marvels of nature

Moths - Britain & Europe

Moths - Amazon & Andes

Caterpillars - the infinite variety

Insects of Amazonia

Species index

Subject index



Code of practice

Copyright - text & images


Website status


All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of Adrian Hoskins ( unless otherwise stated ) and are protected by Copyright. Photographs or text on this website must not be reproduced in part or in whole or published elsewhere without prior written consent of Adrian Hoskins / learnaboutbutterflies.com

Site hosted by Just Host

ICC Appliance - Powered by ICC Systems