20x15x6cm frame (black, dorsal view)
Batesia hypochlora, or the Painted Beauty, is found in the upper Amazon basin of Brazil, Ecuador and Peru, in primary rainforest at altitudes of between about 200 and 1200m. They are most often seen basking with wings outspread, usually near the base of a tree in small shaded forest glades. When disturbed they normally fly high up into the trees, but usually return to ground level a few minutes later.
Even in the low light levels of the forest understory, the red band on the forewing is immediately visible, regardless of whether the butterfly is flying or at rest. When an individual is flying in direct sunshine, however, the red band almost glows, making it brilliantly obvious when viewed from either above or below.
The adults feed on the juices of rotting fruits, wounds in trees, and occasionally fresh mammal dung.
Please note that it should be kept out of direct sunlight as the colour comes from pigmentation of the scales, rather than refraction, and it will naturally fade if it spends too long in the sun.