Subject: A moth with a face, what is it?
Location: Las Salinas, Rivas Department of Nicaragua
July 24, 2016 12:09 pm
I am an expat in Las Salinas, Nicaragua by the Pacific Coast. I enjoy butterflies and moths. However about three weeks ago I photographed this moth that has a strange face. I cannot find any online resources to help me identity it. Any help would be grateful and appreciated.
Signature: Christy C. R. Kennedy
When attempting an insect identification, narrowing down the search to a family is always helpful. This is a Brush-Footed Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, not a moth. Furthermore, it looked to us like one of the Leafwing Butterflies. Our first clue was a matching thumbnail we found on Neotropical Butterflies, but alas, the name associated with the thumbnail, Pylene Prepona, was obviously incorrect, so we dragged the thumbnail into photoshop hoping it was named, and we got lucky as it was labeled Siderone galanthis and that name led us to the Butterflies of Amazonia site and the Scarlet Leafwing. The site states: “The tribe Anaeini comprises of 87 neotropical species in the genera Coenophlebia, Anaea, Consul, Memphis, Polygrapha, Siderone, Fountainea and Zaretis. The butterflies are characterised by having a very rapid and strong flight. They have stout bodies, falcate wings, and on the upper surface are generally black, marked with bands of orange, bright red, or lustrous blue according to genus and species. The undersides of all Anaeini are cryptically patterned in mottled brown tones, and bear a very strong resemblance to dead leaves.
… Siderone galanthis is distributed from Mexico to southern Brazil, and also occurs in the Caribbean on Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad.” Butterflies of America also has some nice images.