clear winged butterfly from Ecuador
I photographed this beautiful butterfly in the rainforest of eastern Ecuador, near the north bank of the Rio Napo, on Feb 23, 2007. I haven’t been able to identify it. Can you tell me what species it is? We’d love to be able to put a species name and common name with the photo on the web site. Thanks,
Identifying tropical insects is often very difficult for us since there is not as much information available online or in text books as there is for North American or European species. We will post your image and try to identify it in the future. Additionally, many times our readers provide us with answers for unidentified species. Many Clearwing Butterflies, also known as Glasswings, are in the subfamily Heliconiinae, a division of the Nymphalidae.
We had a commitment today to supervise a computer lab. While the students worked, we whiled away the hours doing some web research. We did not positively identify this species, but we are nearly certain this is a Clearwing Satyr in the genus Cithaerias.
Update: January 5, 2015
We just received a comment indicating that this is Haetera piera. We browsed that name and found several images from the same genus on Ecuador Butterfly Photos. Butterflies of Amazonia provides this information: “The tribe Haeterini is confined exclusively to the neotropical region. All members of this tribe are elusive crepuscular butterflies which spend their lives skulking deep in the undergrowth. There are 5 genera – Pierella, Pseudohaetera, Cithaerias, Dulcedo and Haetera. All butterflies in the latter 4 genera have rounded transparent wings, with small ocelli at the apex of the hindwings. The genus Haetera comprises of 2 species – macleannania and piera. Both are extremely similar, but macleannania has a reddish flush on the hindwings, while in piera this is amber in colour. Haetera macleannania is found from Costa Rica to Colombia, and is replaced further south by piera which is found in Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.“