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Volume 79, Issue 4, Pages 284-294

On the Life Cycle and Natural History of Hymenitis Nero (Lepidoptera: Ithomiinae) in Costa Rica

Department of Biology, Lawrence University, Appleton 54911, Wisconsin, USA

Received 5 October 1972

This article is in the public domain. This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.


A knowledge of life cycle and natural history are often important prerequisites to studies of population biology in butterflies. Although studies on the systematics and broad distribution patterns of that familiar New World Tropical group, the Ithomiinae, have been conducted (Seitz, 194; Fox, 1956; Fox, 1968), a lot remains to be known about the biology of many species in Central America. This is surprising in light of the considerable interest in these butterflies as members of mimicry complexes. In this spirit, this paper summarizes life cycle and natural history data on a clear wing ithoreiine Hymenitis nero (Hewitson) (Nymphalidae: Ithomiinae) in Costa Rica. Similar studies of several other sympatric ithomiines have either been completed (Young, in prep.) or begun, as a preliminary step towards understanding the local patterns of diversity of this family in selected tropical plant communities.