Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
from the August 1, 2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO
One of the prettiest butterflies seen recently appears below:
Volunteer butterfly identifier Bea in Ontario found it harder than usual to name this species. It's the Banded Banner, PYRRHOGYRA NEAEREA HYPSENOR, a member of the big Brushfoot Family, the Nymphalidae.
Bea's difficulty surprised me because I thought the species would be so distinctive and attractive that it'd be well represented on the Internet. However, there's not much about it there except the fact that its caterpillars eat leaves of the genus Paullinia, which is a woody vine with twice-compound leaves in the Soapberry Family. Paullinia fuscescens is very common around here. We look at its leaves and fruits at http://www.backyardnature.net/yucatan/paullini.htm.
This is another of those butterflies whose wings' upper surfaces, when they're opened, might seem to a predator an enemy's gaping mouth, in this case white lips against a black background, as shown at the top of the page.