Comprehensive Description

provided by Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology
Rekoa meton Cramer

NOMENCLATURE.—Papilio meton Cramer, 1779: Cramer (1779–1780) described and illustrated a Surinamese male of P. meton. Although the figure shows a specimen with two hindwing tails (there should be one), it can be confused with no other hairstreak species. There is a male with one tail in the Rijksmuseum van Natuurijke Historie (Leiden) that fits the original figure and that can be designated a lectotype if one is ever deemed necessary.

Hesperia augustus Fabricius, 1793: Fabricius (1793) described H. augustus from an “American” female with a brief description. Butler (1870) synonymized this species to P. meton. Although no type specimen is known (Zimsen, 1964), Jones' unpublished figure of H. augustus in the BNMH library supports this synonymy.

GEOGRAPHICAL VARIATION.—As is true for R. stagira and R. marius, the ventral wing pattern of R. meton varies geographically (Figures 65, 68, 69). Three major wing pattern characters vary, each of which changes in different geographic regions. First, females from southern Brazil (Rio de Janeiro south to Santa Catarina) are blue above, while those from central Brazil (Minas Gerais) and Paraguay have only a blue tinge and those from further north are white. Second, the basal line on the ventral hindwing is present in specimens south of about 20° S latitude, is present in about half of the specimens across the Amazon basin from Peru to the Guianas, and is absent in Central American specimens. Third, specimens from the Amazon basin have a light yellow patch in the middle of the ventral hindwing that contrasts with the remainder of the wing. In specimens to the south and north of the Amazon Basin, the patch is usually darker so that it does not contrast with the rest of the wing.

IDENTIFICATION.—Identification of R. meton has never posed a problem. Although the ventral wing pattern of specimens in the south part of the range could be confused with that of R. malina, R. meton is larger, usually has an “eyespot” at the base of the ventral hindwing, has a different wing shape, and has the base of dorsal hindwing vein Rs covered with white scales as opposed to the brown or blue scales of R. malina (Figures 64–69, 71–74).

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION (Figure 70), TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION, AND ELEVATION (format explained on page 5).—MEXICO: San Luis Potosi: 14 mi S Valles (19 Dec), Valles (2 Jul), Tamazunchale (7 Aug). Hidalgo: 8 mi S Tamazunchale (2 Aug), Arroyo de Los Patos (??, 25 Dec), Puerto de Caballo (29 Jul), Tamaulipas (??, 7 Apr). Puebla: Xicotopec (14 Jun). Veracruz: Presidio (May, Jun, 22 Jul), Cordoba, Atoyac, Misantla, Santa Lucrecia (= Jesus Carranza) (24 Sep), Jicaltepec (Jun), Dos Amates (20 Aug), 2 mi SE Coatzacoalcos (18 Jan), Coatepec, Catemaco (17 Jun, 21 Jun-1 Aug), Tapalapan (Sep), Paso San Juan, Jalapa. Sinaloa: Mazatlan, Colima: Comala (2100 ft, 10 May). Michoacan: Uspero. Guerrero: Rincon (2800 ft), Tierra Colorada (2000 ft). Oaxaca: Soyolapan el Bajo-Mpio Comaltepec (20 Oct), Chiltepec (28 Sep). Tabasco: Tepescuintle Mpio Tenosique (10 Aug). Chiapas: 10 km W Union Jaurez (29 Dec).

GUATEMALA: Retalhuleu: San Sebastian. Izabal: Cayuga, Quirigua (Mar). Alta Verapaz: Choctun, Polochic Valley. Baja Verapaz: S. Geronimo, Cubulco. Santa Rosa: Barbereno (1300 m, Aug), Chiquimulilla, Guazacapan.

BELIZE: Stann Creek District: Melinda (50 ft, 30 Aug-4 Sep); from Ross (1964).

EL SALVADOR: San Salvador: Santa Tecla (6, 8, 14, 17, 21, 22, 25 Jan, 4, 10, 13 Feb). Cuscatlan: Rosario (25, 26 Dec). San Salvador: San Salvador.

HONDURAS: Cortes: San Pedro Sula, El Jaral (2100 ft, 9, 14, 21, 27 Aug, 17, 23 Sep); from Monroe et al. (1967).

NICARAGUA: Rio San Juan: Chontales.

COSTA RICA: Alajuela: San Mateo (Feb), 6 km W Atenas (1500 m, 10 Feb). Guanacaste: Avangarez (2 Jul). Cartago: Turrialba (2000 ft, 25 Jun), Irazu (6000–7000 ft), Juan Vinas (2500–3500 ft, May, Nov). Limon: Guapiles (Jun). San Jose: San Jose (Feb, Mar, Aug), Escazu (Jan), S. Francisco (4500 ft). ??: Juan Virico (2500 ft, Jan).

PANAMA: Chiriqui: Bugaba (800–1600 ft), Potrerillos (3600 ft, 30 Jan, 29, 30 Feb, 5, 6 Mar), No further data. Veraguas: Calobre. Canal Area (formerly Canal Zone): Madden Forest (6, 8, 9 Feb, 27 Mar), Farfan (2 Feb), Paraiso (3 Jun), Summit (1 Apr). Panama: Bayano (8 Feb), Cerro Campana (600m, 6 Jan).

SURINAM: Paramaribo: Paramaribo (Aug). Brokopondo: Berg-en-Dal (May). ??: Boschland (May, There are two towns in Surinam by this name).

FRENCH GUIANA: Guyani: St. Jean, Nouveau Chantier (May). Inini: St. Georges (Sep, Oct).

GUYANA: No further data.

TRINIDAD: Caroni: Tabaquite (26 Feb, 26 Mar, Jun; from Barcant, 1970), Brasso (21 Mar, 2 Apr), Piarco (15 Oct). St. George West: St. Ann's Valley (400 ft, Jan). St. George East: Caparo Valley-Pt. of Spain (Jan), D'Abadie (19 Apr). Victoria: Morne Diable (Dec); from Barcant (1970). ??: Maturan (??, Sep).

VENEZUELA: Tachira: Rio Frio (600 m, 10 Sep). Merida: Merida. Trujillo: Haciendita, near Valera (25 Aug). Carabobo: Las Quiguas (Jun), Valencia, near Aguirre (19 Jan), Puerto Cabello. Aragua: Rancho Grande (1100 m, 19, 29 May), Turmero (466 m, 13 Nov), El Limon (450 m, 3 Apr, 17 Oct). Distrito Federal: Caracas. Miranda: Caracas–Qda. Camburi (1000 m, 27 Dec). Cojedes: Hato Mata Clara (??, 12–16 Apr). Nueva Esparta: La Sierra (29 Aug). Bolivar: Caura River (3 Feb), Suapure (10, 16 Jan; 3 Feb).

COLOMBIA: Valle: Cali (1000 m, 19 Feb; 2, 8 Aug), R. Dagua, Espejuelo, near Cali (Mar, Apr). Cauca: Corinto. Risaralda: Santa Rita-Cauca R., Santa Cecelia (800 m, Feb). Tolima: Melgar (1200 ft, 11 Jun). Cesar: Rio Los Clavos (350 m, Aug). Magdalena: Atanquez (850 m, Jul), Punta del Este-Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (??, 900–1200 m, Sep), Minca (2000 ft, May, Jun). Meta: Villavicencio (500 m, 1500 ft, 1800 ft, 18 Jun; 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 15–17, 19, 20, 22–26, 28, 29, 31 Jul; 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 Aug), Rio Negro (750 m, 2400 ft, 15 Jan, 17 Aug). Amazonas: Leticia. Cundinamarca: La Junta (??). Boyaca: Muzo. ??: Honda, Santa Fe de Bogota.

ECUADOR: Imbabura: Paramba (3500 ft, Apr). Pichincha: Toachi Occidente (800 m, 9 Jul), Quito, Alluriquin (= Tinalandia, = 12 km E Santo Domingo) (700 m, 2000 ft, 19 Apr; 29, 30 Jun; 28 Aug). Chimborazo: Naranjapata (1850 ft, Nov), Dos Puentes (1700 ft). El Oro: No further data (Jun). Bolivar: La Chima–Rio de Las Juntas (Jun, Jul).

PERU: Huanuco: Tingo Maria (800 m, 23 Jun). Junin: Chanchamayo (2000–7500 ft), La Merced (Nov), Rio Colorado (2500 ft). Cuzco: Cosnipata Valley. Puno: La Union to S. Domingo (2000–6500 ft, Jan, wet), Chaquimayo (2500–3000 ft), Yahuarmayo (1200 ft, Feb, Mar).

BOLIVIA: Santa Cruz: Las Juntas (Dec), Buenavista, (Jun), Portachuelo–R. Palmetilles (Apr), Rio Surutu (350 m). La Paz: Coroico (20 Apr).

PARAGUAY: Guaira: Villarica. Paraguari: Sapucay (Jul, Oct–Dec).

BRAZIL: No further data (9, 20 Mar). Amazonas: São Paulo de Olivenca, Tonantins, Tefe. Maranham: No further data. Ceara: No further locality data (Aug). Mato Grosso: Chapada (??, Jan, Apr, Sep), Nivac (??, Feb). Goias: 163 km W Jatai–S. Rita Araguaia (850 m, 21 May), Maranhao (700 m, 15 Aug), from Brown and Mielke (1967). Distrito Federal: (All records from Brown and Mielke, 1967) Sobradinho Woods (1050–1150 m, 13 Aug), Jardim Zoologico (1020 m, 8 Jun), Brasilia Country Club (1200 m, 11 Jun). Minas Gerais: Lassance (9 Nov), Sao Jacinto Valley (Dec), Parque Rio Doce (25 Jul). Espirito Santo: No further data. Rio de Janeiro: Sto. Antonio do Brotos-Distrito de São Fidelis, Guapimirim (7 Jul), Laguna de Sacuarema (Aug, Sep). São Paulo: No further locality data (2300 ft). Santa Catarina: Joinvillle (9 Jan, 10; 20 Jul; 11 Aug; 28 Sep), Saltobach (??, Apr), São Bento do Sul–Rio Vermelho (700 m, 10 May), Blumenau.

ECOLOGY AND BEHAVIOR.—Habitat: Rekoa meton occurs throughout most of the neotropics from sea level to 2000 m elevation in wet and dry habitats, but rarely above 1000 m at the north and south extremes of its range.

Dispersal: Rekoa meton appears to be a moderately dispersive species. Two females have been collected at Portachuelo Pass (Rancho Grande), and one female at the Cerro Campana ridge. It occurs on Isla Margarita and Trinidad, but is not recorded from other offshore islands.

Foodplant Records: There are no larval foodplant records nor have nectar sources used by adults been noted.

Territoriality: I suspect that males perch in the early afternoon. More than 15 years ago in Melgar (Colombia), before I knew that male hairstreaks set up mating territories, I saw males in the early afternoon landing on the tops of bushes about 4–5 m high. The similar observations of Barcant (1970) lead me to believe that the specimens I saw in Melgar were territorial males.

Wing Pattern and Predation: Of 37 specimens collected at Villavicencio, Colombia (Robbins, 1981), 9 showed symmetrical wing damage indicative of an unsuccessful predator attack to the hindwing anal angle.
bibliographic citation
Robbins, Robert K. 1991. "Evolution, Comparative Morphology, and Identification of the Emaeine Butterfly Genus Rekoa Kay (Lycaenidae: Theclinae)." Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology. 1-64. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810282.498