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E-mail: font@focusonnature.com
Phone: Toll-free in USA 1-888-721-3555
 or 302/529-1876


A List  
with some Photos

South America
and Moths

Including those during
Focus On Nature Tours

in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela

with tours in the months of:  March, July, August, September, October, November

A 6-part List of South American Butterflies 
and a List of South American Moths,
all with some Photos, 
compiled by Armas Hill


Part #1 - Swallowtails (Papilionidae)     Part #2 - Whites, Yellows, Sulphurs, Marbles (Pieridae)

Part #3 - Hairstreaks, Blues (Lycaenidae) & Metalmarks (Riodinidae)

Part #4 - Brushfoots (Nymphalidae)     Part #5 - Clearwings, most Satyrs (Nymphalidae)

Part #6 - Skippers (Hesperlidae)     Part #7 - Moths

Additional Links:  

Upcoming FONT Birding & Nature Tours in South America in:

Brazil   Ecuador   Uruguay   Venezuela     Argentina   Chile

Lists & Photo Galleries of BIRDS including those during FONT Tours in South America

Lists & Photo Galleries of MAMMALS relating to FONT Tours in South America

Lists of Photo Galleries of AMPHIBIANS & REPTILES including those during FONT Tours in South America

Alphabetical Directory of Butterflies by Genus of those with Photos in the FONT Website

Directory of Photos in this Website


Throughout the world, there are over 180,000 described species of butterflies and moths (in the order Lepidoptera). 
In this 6-part list of South American butterflies with an accompanying list of moths, about 4,800 species (with subspecies) are included.   

During upcoming months, more data will continue to be put into these lists, particularly regarding range and habitat, so as to make them rather informative. Photographs will also continue be added. There are now about 600 species of butterflies and moths with photos.    

written by Henry Walter Bates in 1863 in "The Naturalist on the River Amazons": 

"The neighborhood of Para (in Brazil) is rich in butterflies. It will convey some idea of the diversity when I mention that about 700 species of that tribe can be found within an hour's walk of the town (note: maybe an exaggeration.), whilst the total number found in the British Isles does not exceed 66, and the whole of Europe supports only 321.

Some of the most showy species, such as the swallow-tailed kinds, Papilio, Polycaon, Thoas, Torquatus, and others, are seen flying about the streets and gardens; sometimes they come through the open windows, attracted by flowers in the apartments.

Those species of Papilio which are most characteristic of the country, so conspicuous in their velvety-black, green, and rose-coloured hues, which Linnaeus, in pursuance of his elegant system of nomenclature - naming the different kinds after heroes of Greek mythology - called Trojans, never leave the shades of the forest.

The splendid blue Morphos, some of which measure seven inches in expanse, are generally confined to the shady alleys of the forest. They sometimes come forth into the broad sunlight.  When we first went to look at our new residence in Nazareth, a Morpho menelaus, one of the most beautiful kinds, was seen flapping its huge wings like a bird on the verandah.

That species, however, although much admired, looks dull in colour by the side of its congener, the Morpho rhetenor, whose wings on the upper face, are of quite a dazzling lustre. 
usually prefers the broad sunny roads in the forest, and is an almost unattainable prize, on account of its lofty flight; for it very rarely descends nearer the ground than about 20 feet. When it comes sailing along, it occasionally flaps its wings, and then the blue surface flashes in the sunlight, so that it is visible a quarter of a mile off.

There is another species of this genus, of a satiny-white hue, the Morpho uraneis; this is equally difficult to obtain; the male only has the satiny lustre, the female being of a pale-lavender colour.

It is in the height of the dry season that the greatest number and variety of butterflies are found in the woods; especially when a shower falls at intervals of a few days. An infinite number of curious and rare species may then be taken, most diversified in habits, mode of flight, colours, and markings: some yellow, others bright red, green, purple, and blue, and many bordered or spangled with metallic lines and spots of a silvery or golden lustre. 

Some have wings as transparent as glass; one of these clear-wings is especially beautiful, namely, the Hetaera esmeralda; it has one spot only of opaque coloring on its wings, which is of a violet and rose hue; this is the only part visible when the insect is flying low over dead leaves, in the gloomy shades where alone it is found, and it then looks like a wandering petal of a flower."  


A Photo Gallery of Moths & Butterflies
during FONT Tours in Ecuador
in July 2013 & April-May 2014



Photo Gallery 
of Some 
Neotropical Butterflies

Photo #1

Photo #2

Photo #3
Photograph by Howard Eskin.

Photo #4
This & the following photograph by Doug Johnson. 

Photo #5

There are many species of butterflies with photos, nearly 200,
reached through the links near the top of this page.
And many of those butterflies occur in South America,
having been seen during FONT tours at places such as
Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Brazil, 
and in the highlands and lowlands of Ecuador.

Butterflies at Iguazu Falls

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