Archaeoprepona and Prepona
The Archaeoprepona and Prepona are very similar on the upper
surface, black to being chocolate brown with
bands of dazzling blue or turquoise. The 2 genera
can easily be distinguished by examining the
underside hind-wings - in Archaeoprepona there is a tiny submarginal
ocellus (eyes) in each cell, but in Prepona the ocellus near the apex, and
the one near the tornus (the muscular middle
section of an insect's body, which acts as an
anchor for the legs, wings, head and abdomen),
are both greatly enlarged.
Another difference is that Prepona males have tufts of yellow
androconial scales on the hind-wings (in Archaeoprepona these are black).
Androconia; Specialised wing scales in male
butterflies, from which pheromones are
disseminated to attract or convey chemical
messages to females.
Both genera are noted for
This species is found in rainforests and humid
deciduous forests at altitudes between sea level
and about 1600m.
The lifecycle is unknown but is probably similar
to that of demophon as follows : The eggs are
white, globular and laid singly on Annonaceae or Malpigiaceae.
called the custard apple family
is a family of flowering plants
consisting of trees, shrubs or
Malpighiaceae is a family of flowering plants in the
order Malpighiales. It
comprises approximately 75 genera and 1300
species, all of
which are native to the tropics and subtropics. About
80% of the genera and 90% of the species occur in
the New World (the Caribbean and the
southernmost United States to north
The larvae have a
prominent thoracic hump, and are dark brown on
the thorax (body) and below the spiracles
(breathing holes), the remainder being pale
brown. The head bears a pair of stout recurved
horns. The pupa is bluish green with irregular
white spots resembling lichen, and is ovoid in
shape with a prominent thoracic bulge. It is
suspended by the cremaster (Tiny hooks at the tip
of the abdomen of a pupa, used to secure the pupa
to a silk pad spun by the caterpillar) from a
leaf or twig.
The butterflies have an
agile and very powerful flight, and are only
active in hot sunny conditions. They commonly
feed at sap runs, and also attend carrion, dung
and rotting fruit on the forest floor. I have
seen up to 4 different species on the animal
excrement and suction. If a fly sit on their
wings, they can pat it away.
Males often sit facing
head-downwards and with wings half open, on
narrow tree trunks at heights between about 2-4
metres, and from this position watch for
potential mates. Often one can see them in fights
with other Nymphalidae in the air. They are probably the
fastest butterflies in the world?
Bibliography and reference
Tree of Life Web Project
learn about Butterflies