Male

 

wingspan : 36/42 mm


Attal y Crosson du Cormier (1996) state that there are two clearly separated populations of P. dorbigny in Ecuador, one near the Coca and Pastaza rivers, the other one in the rios Zamora and Chìnchipe basins, and that they are bona fide subspecies, P. d. paula in the North, et P. d. mola in the South,


and the map in their book shows clearly that there are no P. dorbignyi between the two populations, which means that this butterfly is absent from  Sangay NP if not for the Northern limit, near the Pastaza river.


but P. dorbignyi is the commonest Perisama around 9 de Octubre ! and the specimens from this area are neither mola nor paula (see new facts page).


we also found P. dorbignyi at el Topo and Machay, where these specimens look much more paula than mola, which seems to make sense.

Perisama dorbignyi, tipo paula, a el Topo
Perisama dorbignyi a la Quebrada Cugusha, 1700 m
Perisama dorbignyi cerca de 9 de Octubre
Perisama dorbignyi a la Quebrada Cugusha, 1700 m
Perisama dorbignyi a el Retiro
Perisama dorbignyi a el Retiro
Perisama dorbignyi a el Retiro
Perisama dorbignyi a el Retiro
Perisama dorbignyi a la Quebrada Cugusha, 1700 m
Perisama dorbignyi a la Quebrada Cugusha, 1700 m
Perisama dorbignyi a la Quebrada Cugusha, 1700 m
Perisama dorbignyi a la Quebrada Cugusha, 1700 m
Perisama dorbignyi a la Quebrada Cugusha, 1700 m
Perisama dorbignyi a la Quebrada Cugusha, 1700 m
Perisama dorbignyi a el Retiro

Presence of many Perisama dorbignyi that are neither ssp paula nor ssp mola

(see "new facts" page of Perisama ambatensis)


in 1996 Attal & Crosson du Cormier state that there are two Perisama dorbignyi subspecies in Ecuador :
- P. dorbignyi paula that flies from the rio Cauca valley in Colombia, to rios Coca and Pastaza in Ecuador, and
- P. dorbignyi mola which flies in the valleys of rios Zamora and Chinchipe.
(there is a third subspecies flying exclusively in Colombia)

the authors write that Perisama dorbignyi does not fly between these two areas, hence, that there are no Perisama dorbignyi in Sangay NP, if not at the extreme North, near the Pastaza river.

it is surprising that they never came by some specimens from 9 de Octubre, because Perisama dorbignyi is very common over there, at least in january, february and september.

but which ssp are these butterflies from 9 de Octubre ?

the keys to differentiate ssp mola and paula are, according to Attal & Crosson du Cormier (p 47) :
- the “hole in the cell” on the FW blue green band,
- and the percentage of specimens of form zamora, which is very low with ssp paula and very high with ssp mola.


looking at those 9 de Octubre specimens one sees that :
- the FW blue green band is not so wide and straight as in ssp. paula, but not so narrow and irregular as in ssp mola , and, in spite of the fact that all these specimens come from the very same place, the FW band is clearly variable, and the “hole in the cell” is very variable too, very strong on specimen n° 8, inexistant on specimen  n°1.
- the ashen gray HW line is also very variable, from strong (butterfly n°4) to very thin (butterfly n°6)
- as for the percentage of f. zamora, we believe it does not mean a thing, Perisama dorbignyi being a variable species, as evidenced on the individual variation page.

facts are that, around 9 de Octubre, Perisama dorbignyi :
- is a common species,
- and a variable one,
- and looks somewhere between ssp paula and ssp mola.

Sangay NP could be the contact and cross-breeding zone between these two ssp ? or we could have a species, P. dorbignyi, variable from North to South, a “cline” going from rio Cauca (Colombia) down to the Ecuador-Peru border, paula and mola being extreme forms ?

we'll have to look for this species North and South of 9 de Octubre, and we shall see ! (it would be important to find out if this species also flies around Limón Indanza ?).

in the Butterflies of Ecuador Database there are one P. d. mola from Loja, and six P. d. paula ; among the latter, five come from the North (Sucumbios, Tungurahua), but one is from the Gualaceo/Limón road, it would be great to see an image.

in 2008 we took a picture of one P. dorbignyi at el Topo, Tungurahua, it is obviously paula, which makes sense.

on the FWUN, the cell colour patch ranges from greenish blue to red, and includes purplish blue and blue and red

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