Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pseudopontia's Twin Sister!!

Leucidia brephos is Pseudopontia's almost twin sister. Only difference is L. brephos has clubbed antenna & Pseudo......doesn't.

The Snowflake (Leucidia brephos)

Stumbled across these today during my research and did somewhat of a double take. I said this looks like Pseudopontia!! And that led to the many questions:

1. Why do they look so similar?
2. Are they related in terms other then family/order (they're both in Pieridae)?
3. Is anything known about them?

Question No.3 can be answered in somewhat of a heartbeat:

Snowflakes are invariably encountered singly, usually when seen in flight at light gaps in the forest, where trees have fallen and sunlight penetrates to ground level. These tiny butterflies have a very slow and very persistent fluttering flight, flying for long periods but apparently going nowhere ! It is in fact possible to watch one of these delightful butterflies drifting and wafting about, but without travelling more than a few metres, for several minutes before it eventually settles.

When the butterfly does settle however it tends to stay put for long periods - these aspects of it's behaviour being very reminiscent of the Leptidea Wood Whites of European forests, although the latter are of course entirely unrelated, being members of the Dismorphiinae.

- Butterflies of The Amazon

Just imagining this is not good enough. Because we all know that seeing the real thing will put anything your mind can cook up to shame. Leptidea species......I have heard of these due to the fact I briefly looked into Dismorphiinae and remember seeing Leptidea mentioned.

However Dismophiinae and it's members is for another day. For now we focus on this beauty. =) General information on this mentions another species: Leucidia evelina which you can bet will have research of some sort done.

Said "General Information" is from the same epic site:

The subfamily Coliadinae is worldwide in distribution, and includes 70 species in the neotropical region. Among them are the familiar Phoebis Sulphurs and Eurema Grass Yellows of the lowlands, and the Colias Clouded Yellows of the high altitude paramo and puna grasslands.

Most Coliadinae species are migratory in nature, and highly conspicuous - Phoebis and Eurema for example are often seen flying along riverbanks in "strings" of a dozen or more while migrating, and males of both genera commonly swarm in groups of 50 or more when mud-puddling at damp sand.

It may come as a surprise therefore to find that the tiny and elusive Snowflake, a denizen of the dark rainforests, is also a member of the same subfamily. There are in fact two "snowflake" species - elvina, which has dark wing borders and looks like a miniature Eurema albula; and the illustrated species brephos, which is by far the commoner and most widespread of the two species.

Leucidia brephos is distributed from Panama to Bolivia.

-Butterflies of the Amazon

Also upon further Googling I found this which has photos of 2 subspecies of L. brephos. I'll of course be researching everything mentioned here because I want to know more. :P Expect and edit of sorts or more entries. *^^* And a very happy birthday to my mommy. You're the best. ♥
Credits: Photo and info is from here. No copyright infringement is intended. ^^

And 1 Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) today! *^^*


Katie said...

I love the contrast in color.

Brittanie said...

It's beautiful isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Pseudopontis and the other one could be ecological equivalents

Brittanie said...

@Anonymous: Interesting! I'll ask around and see if this could be the case. =)