Eight-spot numberwing butterfly
Eight-spot numberwing butterfly (underside)
Callicore felderi cajetani
There are about 20 species of Callicore butterflies, all of which bear distinctive patterns underneath their wings, which can look a lot like numbers, hence their common name, ‘numberwing’. The ‘Eight spots’ are more clearly seen than any number in this species.
Where can you see them? This species is only found in Peru, it likes lowland rainforest and is found in the foothills of the Andes mountains. Lone males can be found along river banks drinking mineral-rich liquids including animal pee from the ground. In hot sunny weather they commonly settle people to drink their sweat. Sweat and pee contain important salts and minerals.
What do they eat? Their caterpillars probably eat the leaves of Sapindaceae - soapberry trees.
Are they endangered? Unfortunately these beautiful butterflies are killed in vast numbers for their beautiful wings, which are used to produce decorative items for the souvenir trade.