by Piter Kehoma Boll
This Friday I’ll talk about one of the most charismatic species of butterflies, at least here in Southern Brazil. Diaethria clymena, known as Cramer’s Eighty Eight or simply 88 Butterfly, is a small species which features a pattern of black and white spots and stripes on the underside of the back wings that look like a number 88. Its distribution goes from Guatemala to Southern Brazil and there are several subspecies through its range.
Adults of this species are often seen near fruit trees, being attracted by rotting fruits. Males can also be seen near ponds, streams or even urine-soaked sand, searching for dissolved minerals to consume.
Larvae of this species often feed on plants from genus Trema (family Cannabaceae), something unusual, since most of the closely related butterflies feed on Sapindaceae. The last larval instars, with a green color, just like the following crysalid, have two long spiny “horns” at the anterior end and when disturbed start to move their head rapidly from side to side.
Despite being a rather common species often found near human settlements, it’s not that well known concerning its ecology and physiology.
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Barbosa, E. P., Kaminski, L. A., & Freitas, A. V. L. 2010. Immature stages of the butterfly Diaethria clymena janeira (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Biblidinae). Zoologia, 27 (5), 696-702 DOI: 10.1590/S1984-46702010000500005
Learn about Butterflies. “88 Butterfly”. Available at: <http://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/Amazon%20-%20Diaethria%20clymena.htm>. Access on September 7, 2012.
Wikipedia. Diaethria clymena. Availabe at: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaethria_clymena>. Access on September 7, 2012.
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