Three unknowns from Torres del Paine, Chile
December 6, 2009
I’ve looked through the categories I can think of for these three (moths, butterflies and beetles) and don’t see matches nor have I found them online with basic searching. All were photographed in Torres del Paine national park, Chile and were unharmed.
The white moth/butterfly was prolific. The orange one was spotted only twice. Both were about 2″ wide x 1″ tall.
The beetle was seen twice and this is the better shot. In both, there’s a bright orange/red spot on that one leg. Eggs perhaps? They were about 3/4″ long x 1/4″ wide Jess, Minnesota
Torres del Paine, Chile

Unidentified Gossamer Winged Butterfly

White Butterfly

Hi Jess,
Based on the striped antennae, we are quite certain the white butterfly is one of the Gossamer Winged Butterflies in the family Lycaenidae.

Unidentified Gossamer Winged Butterfly

The orange butterfly appears to be one of the Brush Footed Butterflies in the family Nymphalidae.  It might take us hours to properly identify the species.  Perhaps one of our readers has a bit of time and can assist in this matter.  We strongly recommend that you post a comment to your own letter and if a reader posts a comment with an identification, you will receive a notification.

Unknown Brush Footed Butterfly, we think


Update by Karl
Hi Daniel:
The white butterfly is actually a White (family Pieridae: subfamily Pierinae) in the genus Tatochila. There are at least seven species in Chile and reference photos are hard to find. I believe it could be T. theodice, but they all look quite similar and there seems to be some disagreement about the taxonomic placement of some of the species (Tatochila vs. Hypsochila).
The orange butterfly is a type of Fritillary that is probably in the genus Yramea (Nymphalidae: Heliconiinae: Argynnini). Species within this genus look very similar to the old world genus Issoria in which they were formerly placed. Yramea is now considered a separate genus restricted to the high Andes and south temperate region of South America. Again, there are about half a dozen representative species in Chile, but as far as I can tell, the one in Jess’s photo looks most similar to Y. cytheris. Regards.

Another Update forwarded by Eric Eaton
At a guess the Frtiillary is a yramea. It is very reminiscent of Issoria species which is the European sister genus.
Perhaps someone else can follow from there.
Neil Jones

Another Update forwarded by Eric Eaton
I have at hand ‘The butterflies of Chile’ by Peña & Ugarte (1996). The upper photos are very close to drawings of Hypsochila microdice (Blanchard, 1852) in the book, and the lower photo to drawings of Yramea, possibly Y. cytheris (Drury, 1773) in the book. Greetings,

Location: Chile

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