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Copyright by: Beryn Harty Adult male
Small butterfly with a wingspan up to 1-7/8 inches. The upperside of the male is dark brown with a silky sheen, a circle of white transparent spots near the apex and a broad paler brown margin on the hindwing. The upperside of the female is brown with dark mottling and dark outer margins. The translucent spots on the female are larger and more numerous than those on the male. Both sexes have a purplish sheen on the upperside of the forewing when recently emerged. The small, translucent green caterpillar has a black head with orange patches on the sides and upper face, a dark line bordered in yellow on the back, yellow lines along the sides and many tiny yellow spots.
South Florida, Florida Keys, West Indies.
Distribution and Abundance in Florida:
Three or more broods per year. Rare all year in South Florida, uncommon all year in the Keys. Caterpillars are present all year.
Pine rocklands and edges of hammocks.
The pale green eggs are laid singly on the leaves of the host plants.
The caterpillar lives in a shelter made of leaves connected with silk. Adults have a rapid, erratic flight pattern; they usually perch or feed with their wings open. Males perch on bare twigs about 1-1/2 feet above the ground, waiting for females.
Caterpillars feed on leaves of host plants. The only known native larval host plant is locustberry (Byrsonima lucida). Nectar plants include the native Spanish-needles (Bidens alba var. radiata), locustberry, seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera), vente conmigo (Croton glandulosus var. septentrionalis), pineland croton (Croton linearis), narrowleaf yellowtops (Flaveria linearis), wild-sage (Lantana involucrata), yellowroot (Morinda royoc), Florida Keys blackbead (Pithecellobium keyense), sweetscent (Pluchea odorata) and willow-bustic (Sideroxylon salicifolium) and the nonnative Barbados-cherry (Malpighia emarginata) and Mexican flamevine (Pseudogynoxys chenopodioides).