Except the totally scarlet species of this genus the species exhibit many local forms. The males have triangular, pointed, brightly coloured forewings and small ellipsoidal hindwings. In the wing veins the species exhibit great conformity, the second subcostal vein, the upper median vein in the forewing as well as in the hindwing rise before the cell-end. They rest well hidden on the under surface of leaves but fly when disturbed somewhat like geometrids for about 10 to 20 metres always keeping in the middle of the forest roads, in order to drop again into another bush. The larvae are lycaenid like, somewhat like woodlice, fluffily haired; that of M. phareus lives on the extremely poisonous Paullinia pinnata to the leaf of which also the small greenish-yellow pupa is spun.