GREEN MANTLE BUTTERFLY
Caria mantinea, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru
If ever you need to identify a butterfly or moth try Adrian Hoskin’s site: http://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com is an excellent resource and nicely organized. Amazing photos too!
The genus Caria contains some of the most beautiful and elusive species on Earth. Although fairly common they are rarely seen due to their secretive habits, and are virtually impossible to follow in flight. Once seen these glittering jewels of the Amazon are never forgotten.
This species is confined to primary rainforest at altitudes between about 100-800m. It is usually found in the vicinity of rocky or pebble-strewn streams.
They have a rapid and erratic flight which is virtually impossible to follow with the eye. However with practice it is often possible to relocate them once they resettle, as they tend to only cover quite short distances. Usually they settle on the ground, but sometimes they land on foliage, or on a damp sunlit rock or boulder, on which they can very easily be overlooked due to their remarkable resemblance to a patch of wet moss.
The butterflies always bask in the characteristic posture illustrated in the photographs, with the forewings swept back, half covering the hindwings.
Fairy Hairstreak Butterfly
Long Tailed Skipper