Eryphanis sp. (mentioned as genus rather than species, as there seems to be a current taxonomical mess, often mentioned under the incorrect species name “polyxena” which is in fact either the species lycomedon or automedon) is a medium to large butterfly species, related to Caligo and Morpho (Brassolini). Overal a very unique species to breed and rear. The adults are iridescent – they reflect a rather dark tint of purple, which meight change to dark blue from some angles. The larvae are rather bizarre in shape and behaviour.
- Difficulty rating: Moderate (Reasonably easy for a butterfly but needs more effort than moths; larvae grow slow)
- Rearing difficulty: 6/10 (From egg to pupa)
- Pairing difficulty: 6/10 (Archieving copulations)
- Host plants: Poaceae grasses, bamboo (Fargesia, Bambusa) Reeds such as Phragmites sp., Papyrus grasses (Cyperus).
- Natural range: Central and South America
- Polyphagous: Yes but probably only on Poaceae
- Generations: Multivoltine (continuous breeding)
- Family: Nymphalidae (brush footed butterflies)
- Pupation: Chrysalis
- Prefered climate: Tropical – hot and humid
- Special notes: The larvae look like dragons, what else do you need! They also have a cervical gland that secretes palmitic acid, a substance that probably repels ants
The larvae, wonderfully camouflaged, are quite long and slender. Their anal prolegs have been modified into two elongated “tails”. Their head capsules have horns and larvae move in a quite odd way, like they are shaking in the wind! The larvae feed on various grasses in the Poaceae family. Including bamboo (Fargesia), reed (Phragmites) and papyrusgrass (Cyperus).
The most important thing with rearing this species is humidity. Larvae prefer warmth but also perform well on room temperature. Reed, bamboo or papyrusgrass are recommended, especially Bamboo which is the native hostplant. Larvae develop rather slowly and will take a couple of months to develop prior to pupation.
The adults forage on the forest floors and mainly seek out fermented fruits and substances rich in minerals to drink from. The pupae are well camouflaged and blend well with their environment.
Thank you for reading my article. This is the end of this page. Below you will find some useful links to help you navigate my website better or help you find more information that you need about moths and butterflies.
Dear reader – thank you very much for visiting! Your readership is much appreciated. Are you perhaps…. (see below)
- Not done browsing yet? Then click here to return to the homepage (HOMEPAGE)
- Looking for a specific species? Then click here to see the full species list (FULL SPECIES LIST)
- Looking for general (breeding)guides and information? Then click here to see the general information (GENERAL INFORMATION)
- Interested in a certain family? Then click here to see all featured Lepidoptera families (FAMILIES)
Citations: Coppens, B. (2019); Written by Bart Coppens; based on a real life breeding experience [for citations in literature and publications]
Was this information helpful to you? Then please consider contributing here (more information) to keep this information free and support the future of this website. This website is completely free to use, and crowdfunded. Contributions can be made via paypal, patreon, and several other ways.
All the funds I raise online will be invested in the website; in the form of new caresheets, but also rewriting and updating the old caresheets (some are scheduled to be rewritten), my educational websites, Youtube, breeding projects, the study of moths andconservation programs.