Juditha caucana

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Juditha caucana (Stichel, 1911)


Some species of Juditha are very similar, like caucana, molpe and azan, and are difficult to identify The photos on the Butterflies of the Americas website ( link ) are not complete except for caucana and don’t help much for determining the species. There is good information available in the revision of Hall et.al. (2001) including figures of the genitalia but I’m not 100% sure I have the right name on this species.


This larva in the last instar was found feeding on Inga vera near Villavicencio, Colombia. Dorsal view


5th instar, lateral view


Shown here are the 3 thoracic segments and thoracic shield. Juditha is in the subtribe Nymphidiniini of the Riodininae. Myrmecophilous larvae of this subtribe are “advanced” meaning they possess Anterior Tentacle Organs (lower arrow) and vibratory papillae (upper 2 arrows) These organs are lacking in the primitive larvae of the Mesosemiini and Eurybiini which only have Tentacle Nectary Organs


The 8th abdominal segment with a center plaque and the TNO extended.


A closer look at the site of the Tentacle Nectary Organ.


Phediole sp. ants were attending the larva. Here is a minor worker over the TNO. Hall et. al. (2001) states this species has an obligate association with Dolichoderus ants but here we see a different species attending the caterpillar. Also Callaghan (1982) reports attendance by Camponotus but Hall (op, cit.) stated the identification of the ant might be erroneous.


Dorsal view of the pupa.


lateral view


Warren, A. D., K. J. Davis, E. M. Stangeland, J. P. Pelham & N. V. Grishin. 2013.
Illustrated Lists of American Butterflies. [28-VIII-2015] http://butterfliesofamerica.com/L/Neotropical.htm

Callaghan, C. J. 1981. “Notes on the Immature Biology of Two Myrmecophilous Lycaenidae: Juditha Molpe (Riodininae) and Panthiades Bitias (Lycaeninae).” Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 20 (1): 36–42. Download

Hall, Jason P., Donald J. Harvey, 2001. “A Phylogenetic Analysis of the Neotropical Riodinid Butterfly Genera Juditha , Lemonias , Thisbe and Uraneis , with a Revision of Juditha ( Lepidoptera : Riodinidae : Nymphidiini ).” Systematic Entomology 26: 453–490.    Download

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