Calospila emylius

  Calospila emylius (Cramer, 1775)

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male

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female

This species is common and both males and females are often seen at flowers throughout the study site during morning hours. The males become territorial between 2-4 pm and perch at specific sites on the outlook for females and fly out and to do battle with other males. The hostplant is Stigmaphyllon a Mapighiaceae liana with stems that divide and hang from the plant.  The leaves are heart shaped and have conspicuous petiole glands at the base. After locating several plants I checked for feeding damage and found several larvae on the underside of the leaves. They are cryptic green and not easy to spot at first but the characteristic feeding damage gives them away. The early instars eat only part of the leaf layers and leave a window of the upper epidermis, Later instars eat all the layers. The larvae were all attended by Wassmannia sp. ants.

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Possibly a 3rd instar larva

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A 5th instar larva, 10 mm. In the back is the messy feeding pattern of the early stages. The large voids and the gnawed petiole gland are the work of this older larva.

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Dorsal and lateral view of the pupa.

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