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Butterflies and Moths ☆

Photography by Small Wonders - Kim Phillips. © 2010 - 2012. All rights reserved.

Postman Butterfly (Heliconius sp.) This is either Heliconius erato or Heliconius melpomene which mimics all color forms of H. erato. The Postman's forewings are black with a red band; hindwings are black with a pale yellow stripe. Males sit on the female chrysalis a day before emergence, and mating occurs the next morning before the female has completely emerged. Range: Mexico - northern South America. Host Plants: Passionflower (Passiflora species).

Gold-bordered Hairstreak (Rekoa palegon) - Underwings are pale gray-brown with streaks of darker brown, sometimes reddish, and a wide golden-orange band along the edge. Upperwings are bright blue in males, pale blue-gray to brown in females. Range: Mexico - South America. Very rare sightings in the U.S. Habitat: Disturbed areas. Host Plants: Asteraceae family & Verbena.

Soldier Butterfly - male (Danaus eresimus) The Soldier Butterly resembles the Monarch Butterfly and more closely resembles the Queen Butterfly. The major visible difference between Soldiers & Queens is the Soldier has faint white blotches between the veins towards the back of the hindwing. Range: Southern Florida, Southern Texas, Mexico - Brazil, West Indies. Habitat: Open pastures, fields, edges of dry tropical forests. Host Plants: Milkweeds. Spotted on wild Ageratum.

Gray Cracker Butterfly (Hamadryas februa) - Crackers get their name from the males ability to produce an audible sound when the butterfly takes off. This sound is made by twanging two immovable spiny rods on the tip of the abdomen with the two spiny valvae. Only males can produce the sound, but both sexes can detect it. This behavior is believed to either be for mating or to ward off rival males. Range: Southern Texas, Mexico - Central America. Host Plants: vines (Dalechampia) & herbs (Tragia)

Little Banner Butterfly (Nica flavilla) Range: Mexico - Bolivia. Rainforests, humid deciduous forests. Host Plants: Soapberry family (Sapindaceae).

Banded Peacock (Anartia fatima) The Banded Peacock or Princesa Roja is a tropical butterly that has been known to also colonize in southern Texas. They sun loving butterflies and are most active in the morning. Range: Southern Texas, Mexico - Central America. Habitat: Subtropical open fields, disturbed areas, orchards. Host Plants: Wild Petunia (Ruellia) & plants in the Acanthaceae family.