Semomesia croesus

Semomesia croesus lacrimosa Stichel, 1915

San Martin, the type locality of this subspecies is only an hour’s drive from where this specimen was photographed so this ought to be the right subspecies name. The Semomesia croesus adults are dimorphic, the males are metallic blue with black patterns and the females are brown with white bars, black eyespots and numerous dark stripes. The females are similar to various species of Mesosemia, especially the┬ásympatric Mesosemia thymetus. This female was observed searching for hostplants and then ovipositing on two different species of Psychotria. One egg was laid on a P. gracilenta and another on a P. caerulea. The photo below is the female resting between eggs.

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Female ovipositing on Psychotria caerulea. In both instances the eggs were placed on a stem and not on the leaves.

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Flowers and leaves of Psychotria gracilenta. The mature berries are purple.

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A time sequence: left day 1, center day 4 and right day 6 after hatching. The egg is o.60 mm in diameter and 0.38 mm in height. The size and dark maroon color of the egg is identical to the eggs of Mesosemia thymetus and philocles. Some Mesosemia species have smaller diameter eggs with a much more numerous hexagon pattern and are yellow, like cippus and mevania.

Unfortunately the larva disappeared after hatching, The previous pictures posted here couldn’t be confirmed as Semomesia.

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