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Education

The Agrias Claudina Butterfly

December 14, 2016
Julia Andreas

Strong clear patterns and vivid patches of color on their wings make these Agrias Claudina butterflies, part of the genus Agrias, a sight to behold. These butterflies, native to the rainforests of South America such as the Amazon in Brazil, are distinctive in their beauty. Their wings are decorated by patterns of red, blue, black, and gold, with males having their own distinct trait - yellow tufts on the back of their wings that release pheromones to attract female butterflies.

Although the Agrias Claudina butterfly is beautiful, what they eat is decidedly not. These butterflies love to feast on rotting fruits and mammal dung, with females preferring the taste of rotting fruit and fish. Active only during hot mornings, these butterflies are rare to see and are usually spotted when they search for food among trails and clearings on the forest floor. Otherwise, they spend most of their time in the rainforest canopy about 200 - 1,000 meters high.

The Agrias Claudina butterfly has not been assessed by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), but it is however, listed as Vulnerable on the Brazilian Red List - a comprehensive conservation assessment on Brazilian animals created by the Chico Mendes Institute for Nature Conservation (ICMBio), an office of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment. According to the BRL, the Agrias Claudina butterfly habitat is threatened by the extensive logging of the Brazilian rainforests and also in places such as the state of Mato Grosso in which the land has been converted into a permanent agricultural area. Even so, there is no known conservation measures which focus on this colorful, brilliant butterfly.

The Agrias Claudina butterfly is displayed on our 75% Atlantic Forest dark chocolate bar. 

Sources and Links:

http://www.arkive.org/agrias/agrias-claudina/ http://www.nationalredlist.org/a-new-brazilian-red-list-is-published/

https://www.iucn.org/

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