Felder's sister butterfly

Felder's sister butterfly

Adelpha malea sarana


There are around 85 species of Adelpha or ‘sister’ butterflies. They are known as the sisters because their white markings resemble those of a nun’s habit.

Where can you see them? They live in rainforests from Mexico in Central America down to northern Argentina in the south and across to Trinidad in the Caribbean Islands. They are most often spotted in areas with bright sunlight, such as forest openings caused by tree fall, river sides, paths and roads.

 What do they eat? The butterflies often visit damp ground or rocks to imbibe mineral rich water. Adelpha caterpillars are known to feed on a wide variety of plants, 116 species from 22 plant families.

 Are they endangered? This species is uncommon in some of its range and rare in other parts. Most species of Adelpha butterflies live in primary (unspoilt) forests that have been slightly disturbed to create small gaps. These gaps allow a greater variety of food plants to grow for the caterpillars. In secondary (disturbed) forest there are far fewer Adelpha species.

Related media: Video and images of Adelpha butterflies: