Eueides alipheraMargarita Beltrán and Andrew V. Z. Brower
Etymology: Aliphera is a city in Arcadia, a region in central Peloponnesus, founded by Alipherus, son of Lycaon who sacrificed a baby on the altar of Zeus and thereby caused the anger of the god to destroy the world (Aliphera).
Early stages: Eggs cream coloured and approximately 0.6 x 0.6 mm (h x w). Females usually place eggs singly under leaves of the host plant. Mature larvae have a yellow body with black, orange and white bands and stripes, with black and orange scoli and head; length is around 2.5 cm. Caterpillars are gregarious in small groups (Brown, 1981). Pupae are greenish white with black markings on the wingpads and short spines on the dorsum that are tipped black (DeVries, 1997).
Adult: Distinguished from similar species with which it may be involved in mimicry by the small size, narrow black bar on the forewing upperside, and fine black veins on the hindwing upperside. See Dryas and Eueides lineata.
Eueides aliphera is widely distributed from Mexico to Brazil. The map below shows an approximate representation of the geographic distribution of this species. The original data used to draw these maps are derived from Brown (1979) which is available at Keith S. Brown Jr. (1979). Ecological Geography and Evolution in Neotropical Forests.
Geographical racesEueides aliphera aliphera (Godart, 1819) - widespread in South America
Eueides aliphera cyllenella Seitz 1912 - ??
Eueides aliphera gracilis Stichel 1913 - Central America
E. aliphera occurs from sea level to 1,400 m in forests clearings. Females mate multiply. Adults roost in loose groups at night at 2-10 m above ground, under leaves (Brown, 1981).
Hostplant: E. aliphera larvae feed primarily on plants from the subgenera Distephana and Plectostemma (Passifloraceae)(Brown, 1981). In Costa Rica larvae feed on Passiflora oerstedi, P. vitifolia and P. auriculatta (Passifloraceae) (DeVries, 1997).
Aliphera. Geographical Dictionary at Greek Mythology Link. http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/001ShortEntries/SGAbae.html [Accessed Aug 16, 2008].
Brown K. S. 1979. Ecologia Geográfica e Evolução nas Florestas Neotropicais. 2 vols. (Tese apresentada à Universidade Estadual de Campinas como parte das exigências de um Concurso de Livre Docência, area de Ecologia). Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil.
Brown K. S. 1981 The Biology of Heliconius and Related Genera. Annual Review of Entomology 26, 427-456.
DeVries P. J. 1997 The Butterflies of Costa Rica and Their Natural History, Volume I: Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae Princeton University Press, Baskerville, USA.
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University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Margarita Beltrán at and Andrew V. Z. Brower at
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- First online 18 February 2007
- Content changed 25 February 2009
Citing this page:
Beltrán, Margarita and Andrew V. Z. Brower. 2009. Eueides aliphera http://tolweb.org/Eueides_aliphera/72971/2009.02.25 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/. Version 25 February 2009 (under construction).