wingspan : 45/49 mm

for years we’ve been collecting Catasticta susiana and taking pictures in Ecuador Oriente, knowing it was a difficult butterfly but not going the extra mile.

recently, and with the help of  Tomasz W Pyrcz,  we checked all our specimens, and realized there are two different phenotypes, probably two distinct species, sympatric from la Bonita down to Valladolid.

just to be clear we call susiana the phenotype which best matches the type ofsusiana, and susiana resembling the second one.

susiana resembling is much more common in the North, the distribution being, roughly :
                   « resembling »  susiana
Noreste                   7                 3  
PN Sangay             4                 6 
Loja-Zamora          2                8

although both phenotypes are variable, they are not too difficult to tell, see new facts page.

these specimens come from el Retiro and the rio Paute valley.

Catasticta susiana resembling en la ruta Atillo/Macas, 1900 m
Catasticta susiana resembling a la Quebrada Cugusha - 1700 m
Catasticta susiana resembling a el Retiro
Catasticta susiana resembling a el Retiro

above a sample of specimens from la Bonita to Valladolid, rows 1 & 3 C. susiana resembling, rows 2 & 4 C. susiana susiana.

to tell these two phenotypes there are several criteria listed below, but the easiest way by far is to hold the specimen at arm length and look at the underside,
     - if the light couloured parts of both FW and HW look the same pale yellow, it is C. susiana susiana,
     - if the FW is a stronger yellow, it is C. susiana resembling.

criteria, keeping in mind these are two variable phenotypes :

- general shape - C. susiana resembling is a stocky butterfly, C. susiana susiana not so much,

- upperside - a bold yellow for C. susiana resembling, from pale yellow to whitish for C. susiana susiana

- underside - as said previously the difference - or not - between FW and HW yellows,
                        - on C. s. susiana the yellow marginal triangles have very curved sides, and the triangles are flattened, not so much on C. s. resembling,
                        - on C. susiana susiana the dark HW postiscal area is a more greyish brown, more reddish on C. susiana resembling,
                        - on C. susiana susiana the yellow line inside the HW cell is almost continuous, when it is more fragmented on C. susiana resembling.

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