Dagger Wing Butterfly Marpesia spp.


Common Name: Dagger Wing Butterfly

Order Name: Lepidoptera

Family Name: Nymphalidae

Damp spots in the trail are often frequented by this sun and mineral-loving Dagger Wing Butterfly. This Brazilian Nymphalid group is characterized by very long tails on the hind wings and carefully positioned eyespots. By viewing these butterflies from behind, the tails resemble antennae and the out-turned eyespots complete the illusion of eyes. A predator might be confused about the the correct end of this butterfly to strike. These butterflies feed on Ficus and have elegant gliding flight. They often can be found in respectable number at their favorite mineral holes.