Queen Panacea - Panacea regina

The Queen Panacea, Panacea regina (Nymphalidae), also commonly referred to as Queen Flasher, is a colorful butterfly found across much of Amazonia from Colombia to Peru and southern Brazil.

Panacea regina is the largest member of the genus. It was discovered by the legendary explorer and naturalist Henry Walter Bates, and named after the Queen Victoria (Victoria regina).

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Jeffrey Glassberg | Locality: Napo, Ecuador (2014)

Sergeant Butterfly Caterpillar (Athyma sp., Nymphalidae) with parasitoid wasp (Braconidae) cocoons

This caterpillar is wearing braconid parasitoid wasp (Braconidae) cocoons on its back which means the parasitic phase of the relationship is over but the caterpillar’s future is limited.

The course of events is as follows: a female wasp lays eggs on the host’s skin (apart from thrashing around, the caterpillar has no defense against this). Larvae burrow inside the caterpillar, which at first continues to develop almost normally as the wasp larvae devour non-essential tissue. They eventually stop feeding and cut holes in the host’s skin in order to reach the outside. They pupate inside white cocoons spun on the host’s skin. The caterpillar often dies before adult wasps emerge from the cocoons.

This is a very common event locally and as grotesque as it seems, it is part of the natural cycle of life…



by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu'er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese insects and spiders on my Flickr site HERE……

Anna’s Eighty-eight (Diaethria anna)

…a species of Eighty-eight butterfly (Diaethria spp.) which is known to occur in wet tropical forests in Central America and South America. It is also rarely encounterd as a stray in south Texas. Adults will feed on nectar, rotting fruit, and dung, and are noted for the black outlines on their hindwings which are very reminsiect of an “88”. Diathria anna caterpillars are known to associate with and feed on elm and soapberries. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Lepidoptera-Nymphalidae-Diaethria-D. anna

Image: Charlesjsharp

Karkloof Emperor  (Pearl Emperor, Pearl Charaxes)

Charaxes varanes (Nymphalidae) is a west African butterfly up to 10cm  with a beautiful contrasting color. The body is light grey and the wings white near body, remainder orange with brown patches and flecks. The hindwings have pointed tails.

The photo shows an specimen of the subspecies Charaxes varanes vologeses which occurs in Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and since the photo was taken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, apparently also occurs there.

References: [1] - [2

Photo credit: ©Nigel Voaden | Locality: Sakania, Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo

2

Malayan Oakleaf - Kallima paralekta

Kallima paralekta (Nymphalidae) is a stunning Malaysian butterfly that display transverse, leaf-like venation across the ventral sides of the fore and hindwing, looking astonishingly similar to a dead leaf. Leaf mimicry in butterfly wings, as in the genus Kallima, provides a striking example of complex adaptive features and has led to speculation about how wing patterns evolve a close resemblance to leaves from an ancestral form that did not resemble leaves.

Conflicting perspectives on the evolution of leaf mimicry have led to controversial and contrasting hypotheses. The origin of leaf mimicry and the process by which it evolved have not been resolved.

Leaf mimicry in Kallima paralekta was described by Wallace as ‘the most wonderful and un- doubted case of protective resemblance in a butterfly’.

Synonym: Kallima limborgii 

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Jeff Lin | Locality: Penang, Malaysia (2013) | [Top] - [Bottom]

Blackened Bluewing - Myscelia cyananthe

An amazing North American butterfly, Myscelia cyananthe (Nymphalidae) is a species distinctive by having the upperside black with iridescent blue bands, and the center of forewing black without bands.

The subspecies pictured, Myscelia cyananthe skinneri, occurs in subtropical Mexico (Baja California Sur, Sonora and Sinaloa) and and rarely into South Texas and New Mexico.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Manuel A. Balcázar Lara | Locality: not indicated (2014)