Agrias butterflies

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wollastoni
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Agrias butterflies

Post by wollastoni »

As I have been impressed by the rare Agrias forms recently shown on the forum by Manfred, I have decided to create a topic dedicated to Agrias.

Agrias is one of the most breathtaking butterfly genus and a very interesting genus to study due to the complexity of its local forms, natural hybridization and so on.
When you post a picture, please add the collecting data and ssp/form name if you know them.

PS : it is not a topic for Prepona, only true Agrias, kings of the Amazon ! ;-)
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by wollastoni »

I will start by this nice Agrias claudina sardanapalus form belsazar that I acquired last week in Frankfurt.

Image

This specimen comes from Rio Solimões, Amazonas, Brazil.
Classic sardanapalus form has no "red" on hind wings (only blue).
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by hewi »

This is a truly stunning specimen !
I must have overlooked it in Frankfurt ;)
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by livingplanet3 »

Amazing specimen - I'd not seen this form of sardanapalus before!
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by Johnnyboy »

That is superb, the way the blue "bleeds" into the red on the hindwing makes it look like a work of art

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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by jhyatt »

I hope that those posting photos of rare Agrias forms can include the collecting date along with the locality. It's always interesting to learn whether
a rare variety was taken only once or twice long ago, or is still being collected today.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by Paul K »

wollastoni wrote: Mon Nov 14, 2022 5:20 pm As I have been impressed by the rare Agrias forms recently shown on the forum by Manfred, I have decided to create a topic dedicated to Agrias.

Agrias is one of the most breathtaking butterfly genus and a very interesting genus to study due to the complexity of its local forms, natural hybridization and so on.
When you post a picture, please add the collecting data and ssp/form name if you know them.

PS : it is not a topic for Prepona, only true Agrias, kings of the Amazon ! ;-)
But Agrias genus is invalid. Unless collectors use Agrias as common name to refer to some Prepona species.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by livingplanet3 »

I'm not sure what the "rarest" Agrias in my collection would be. Possibly, Agrias phalcidon fournierae. I don't have a photo of my specimen at the moment, but here's a fine example that looks similar -

Image
https://bruceblue.smugmug.com/Folder-of ... /i-qwNPXZF
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by Trehopr1 »

Outstanding specimen Olivier ! 👏🎉
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by wollastoni »

As livingplanet is showing Agrias phalcidon fournierae, let's show various forms from my collection.

Agrias phalcidon fournierae lives in Rio Maues and Rio Madeira in Brazil.

MALES :

Let's start by the normal form (common)
classic form :
Image

form nigrans with black HW (common)
Image

form viola with thinner orange patch (common)
Image

form medusa : like form viola but with red patch (very rare)
Image

form augustus : like form medusa but with additional turquoise bands (extremely rare)
Image


FEMALES :
classic form :
Image

form viridiflavus : (rare)
Image

This will gives you a vision of how Agrias phalcidon fournierae can evolve and see some rare forms.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by Trehopr1 »

I have ALWAYS had the highest appreciation for these
butterflies. They are literally the GEMS of the South and
Central American rainforest (including southern Mexico).

I've only seen one actual (live) specimen myself; in Bolivia
1989. It was seen in flight and looked likely to have been
the common A. claudia lugens. It was showy, fast, and
gorgeous.

However, from the collector standpoint these have always
been in a league all their own AND on (another level) of
high-end collecting. Basically, the more the "bling" or
relative obscurity (of variation or form); the higher the cost.

Being a collector of modest means has only allowed me 6
specimens of this marvelous (apparently former) genus.
Despite, the recent semantics of genus (name); I still cannot
help myself as seeing the "original" Agrias species as being
(somewhat) diffrent in appearance from (most prepona).

Anyway, of my 6 Agrias specimens the two species posted below
are the "jewels" of the lot. Its little wonder why these specific
butterflies are all "the rage" of those who can afford them.

Their palette of variation is mindboggling, their elusive habits
befuddling, and their presence is "center stage" wherever they
may be seen.

Agrias phalcidon fournierae (form Viola)

Image

Agrias claudina sardanapalus

Image
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by hewi »

A. phalcidon fournierae (another form of fournierae with red forewing spot)
augustus m.jpg
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by wollastoni »

Wonderful variation of the form augustus, Manfred !
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by wollastoni »

Trehopr1 wrote: Wed Nov 16, 2022 7:33 pm I still cannot
help myself as seeing the "original" Agrias species as being
(somewhat) diffrent in appearance from (most prepona).
No Agrias or Prepona specialist thinks Agrias and Prepona aren't different.
Keith Willmott who synonimised both genera in 2013 wrote that :
- "Agrias has recently diverged from Prepona",
- Agrias are engaged in a mimetic ring with Callicore and Asterope (which may explain the explosion of forms in Agrias unlike in Prepona)
- he explained he could also have decided to keep the Agrias genus and split the Prepona genus in 3 or 4.
But he also shows well that Agrias and Prepona are genetically VERY close, they hybridize very well, and thus it makes more sense to merge both genera than to split Prepona in 3 or 4.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by Jshuey »

It's worth noting that the issues with Agrias versus Prepona were known long before Keith's work. the genera were called out as polyphyletic back in 1983 and Kurt Johnson was adamant that Agrias was a synonym of Prepona - almost 40 years ago!

https://web.archive.org/web/20220513002 ... pdf/266810

Johnson, K and Quinter, Eric L. 1983. "Commentary on Miller and Brown vs.Ehrlich and Murphy et al: pluralism in systematics and the worldwide nature of kinship groups." The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera 21(4), 255–269. https://doi.org/10.5962/p.266810.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by livingplanet3 »

wollastoni wrote: Wed Nov 16, 2022 4:49 pm As livingplanet is showing Agrias phalcidon fournierae, let's show various forms from my collection...
Beautiful specimens! I checked the data on my A. phalcidon fournierae, and it's form viola.
Trehopr1 wrote: Wed Nov 16, 2022 7:33 pm I have ALWAYS had the highest appreciation for these
butterflies. They are literally the GEMS of the South and
Central American rainforest (including southern Mexico)...
Agreed!
Trehopr1 wrote: Wed Nov 16, 2022 7:33 pm ...Anyway, of my 6 Agrias specimens the two species posted below
are the "jewels" of the lot. Its little wonder why these specific
butterflies are all "the rage" of those who can afford them...
30-40 years ago, I wouldn't have imagined that I'd ever have any Agrias species in my collection. They seemed completely out of my reach. If not for the internet, I might never have acquired any Agrias at all, along with many other species of Lepidoptera / Coleoptera. Even now, I'd consider my collection to be rather modest, in comparison to what some others have. But, it's never been my goal to have a particularly large, comprehensive collection. In fact, at this point, I've essentially stopped acquiring anything further (though there are a few particular species that I think I'd find a bit difficult to pass up, if the opportunity arose; Charaxes fournierae comes to mind :roll:).
hewi wrote: Wed Nov 16, 2022 10:40 pm A. phalcidon fournierae (another form of fournierae with red forewing spot)...
Spectacular!
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by Paul K »

I only have one specimen of agrias butterflies which I personally collected out of my bait trap in French Guiana.

It is Prepona narcissus narcissus male
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by adamcotton »

That gets a 'thumbs up' from me because it was self-caught. All the specimens are superb, but self-collected makes it extra special.

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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by Trehopr1 »

That's a real prize of a self-capture Paul !

I agree wholeheartedly with Adam when he says that self collected material is "extra special" for its provinence.
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Re: Agrias butterflies

Post by Trehopr1 »

In all my years of purchasing/trading for specimens I have never yet seen a narcissus available in any old collections I have reviewed !
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