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Many thanks to Kim Garwood, Ezequiel Osvaldo Núñez Bustos and Richard Lindstrom for their assistance
in identifying some of the butterflies included in this image gallery.

Designed by Paul Smith 2006. This website is copyrighted by law. Material contained herewith may not be used without the prior written permission of FAUNA Paraguay. Photographs on this web-site were taken by Paul Smith, Hemme Batjes, Regis Nossent,
Alberto Esquivel, Arne Lesterhuis, José Luis Cartes, Rebecca Zarza and Hugo del Castillo and are used with their permission.
We currently have images of 392 species of Paraguayan butterflies. Click on the subfamily links below for access to the species images. The number in brackets refers to the total number of species in each subfamily for which we have images.
Click on the taxonomic links for more detailled information about the groups and access to images.
Click on individual photographs for full-size images.
Click on the species links for their individual Handbook accounts.
Click here for information on how to use the Lepidopteran species accounts.

FAMILY: Hesperiidae - Skippers
Small, stout-bodied butterflies generally with dull brown, cryptic colouration. Small wings and three pairs of well-developed legs. Antennae with hooked tips. Flight low, fast and skipping. Eggs rounded or oval with flattened base. Chrysalis among grasses or wrapped in leaves. Caterpillar with obvious "neck".

FAMILY: Papilionidae - Swallowtails
Large, brightly-coloured and with "tails". Three pairs of well-developed legs. Flight fluttery, often slow, but capable of more vigorous flight. Feed by "hovering" rapidly beating the wings as they suck nectar. Eggs round and furrowed. Caterpillars ornate with a retractile organ, often emitting unpleasant scent. One subfamily Papilioninae in Paraguay, split into three tribes Graphiini, Papilionini and Troidini.

FAMILY: Pieridae - Pierids
Typically yellow or white. Three pairs of well-developed legs. Rest with wings folded. Sexually dimorphic and females sometimes polymorphic. Flight vigorous and strong. Often gregarious. Eggs elongated with longitudinal furrows. Caterpillars lack ornamentation. Three subfamilies in Paraguay, Coliadinae, Dismorphiinae and Pierinae.

FAMILY: Nymphalidae - Nymphalids
Diverse and often colourful family. Lifetsyles, flight styles and behaviour vary greatly between subfamilies. Males all have much reduced forelegs. Chrysalis suspended.
Apaturinae - Emperors (4)
Dorsal surface brightly-coloured. Sexually dimorphic. Rapid, fluid flight. Pose with wings open.
Biblidinae - Biblids (33)
Biblidinae are diverse, but generally small and brightly-coloured. Flight hesitant. Often sexually dimorphic. Pose with wings folded or open.
Charaxinae - Leafwings (11)
Highly cryptic underwing but often brightly-coloured ventral side. Vigorous, rapid flight, often at high altitude. Greatly rounded costa and pointed apex, enhancing leaf-like appearance. Frequently attracted to dung and rotting fruit, do not feed on flowers. Pose with wings folded.
Cyrestinae - Daggerwings (2)
Long pointed wings and hindwing "tails". Forewings with striped patternation.
Danainae - Monarchs, Clearwings and Tigerwings (17)
Tribe Danaini are large, often orange-coloured with black markings. Robust body, legs and wings. Flight powerful but with frequent V-winged glides. Toxic. Feed by "hovering" rapidly beating the wings as they suck nectar. Some species migratory. Tribe Ithomiini have long, narrow forewings. Clearwings with transparent wings, tigerwings with warning colouration. Flight weak and fluttery, often in shady areas. Pose with wings folded. Host plants Solanaceae.
Heliconiinae - Longwings (13)
Long, narrow forewings. Relaxed flight fluttery but capable of rapid flight and sudden directional changes when pursued. Host plants Passifloraceae leading to toxicity in adult form. Many species with warning colouration and involved in mimicry rings. Caterpillars with spines.
Libytheinae - Snouts (1)
Characterised by triangular wings with notched corners and extraordinarily long labial palps, making them appear big-nosed. Pose with wings folded.
Limenitidinae - Sisters (6)
Distinctive patternation of brown base colour with orange apical patches and broad white lines traversing both wings. Ventral side striped and useful for specific identification.
Nymphalinae - Brushfoot Butterflies (23)
Handsome with diverse and varied appearance. Short, fat abdomen. Flight erratic but rapid. Pose with wings open.
Satyrinae - Satyrs
Satyrs (Tribe Satyrini) are dull brownish colouration, usually in shady areas flying low. Flight skipping, short distances and immediately posing again. Pattern of ventral wing surface more useful for identification than dorsal. Caterpillar with forked appendage on posterior end. Pose with wings folded. Tribe Morphini (Morphos)are large with relaxed, gliding flight. Colour of dorsal surface bright, often blue, ventral surface cryptic. Gregarious caterpillars. Pose with wings folded. Tribe Brassolini (Owl Butterflies) with large eyespots on underwing. Behaviour crespuscular and prefer shady areas. Flight rapid and bat-like. Caterpillar with forked appendage on posterior end. Pose with wings folded.

FAMILY: Riodinidae - Metalmarks
Males with reduced forelegs. Forewings triangular. Rest with wings open or folded, often posing on the underside of leaves. Faithful to small territories. Fly low, usually within 1m of the ground. Eggs hemispherical with tiny pimples. Caterpillars broad-bodied with scarce hairs.

FAMILY: Lycaenidae - Lycaenids (44)
Males with reduced forelegs. Different colours on both sides of the wing, the ventral surface being cryptic. Rest with folded wings. Flight stuttery with frequent pauses. Eggs flattened or domed with furrows and pimples. Caterpillars slug-like with retractile head. Chrysalis short and wide.