Wing pattern diversity in Brassolini butterflies (Nymphalidae, Satyrinae)


  • Carla Maria Penz University of New Orleans, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Neda Mohammadi University of New Orleans, Department of Biological Sciences


butterfly, wing color, nymphalid ground plan, eyespots, ocelus, Caligo


This study describes and compares the diverse dorsal and ventral wing color patterns of Brassolini butterflies. Thirty-three species are illustrated, where pattern elements of the nymphalid ground plan are labeled in color. In general, a larger number of pattern elements can be identified on the ventral than on the dorsal surface of both wings, and the forewing has a larger number of discernible pattern elements than the hind wing. The dorsal elements are broad, diffuse, and more difficult to identify against the typically brown brassoline wing background color. Species with a light colored dorsal background served as a guide for our proposal that fewer pattern elements are present dorsally, particularly on the hind wing. Colorful bands or markings generally present on the dorsal surface seem to be associated with specific pattern elements and have correspondence to the ventral pattern. We refer to these as trailing bands, and they constitute a predominant feature of the brassoline dorsal coloration. We propose a subordinate groundplan for brassolines and interpret some of the ventral pattern variation in light of their phylogeny. Dorsal color pattern variation that leads to sexual dimorphism and mimetic resemblance are also discussed.




How to Cite

Penz, C. M., & Mohammadi, N. (2013). Wing pattern diversity in Brassolini butterflies (Nymphalidae, Satyrinae). Biota Neotropica, 13(3). Retrieved from //