North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Arizona

Palmer's Metalmark (Apodemia palmeri)
JPG -- species photo

Palmer's Metalmark (Apodemia palmeri [W. H. Edwards])

Wing span: 3/4 - 1 1/8 inches (2 - 3 cm).

Identification: Dark brown or gray with copper tinge. Many small white spots, some forming submarginal bands at margins of both wings. Underside orange with white spots and black submarginal spots.

Life history: Eggs are laid singly on leaves of host trees. Caterpillars rest in a nest of leaves tied together with silk, and come out at night to feed on leaves. Third-stage caterpillars hibernate.

Flight: Two broods from May-September in Nevada and Utah, many broods from April-November in the south.

Caterpillar hosts: Screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens) and honey mesquite (P. glandulosa var. torreyana).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Mesquite desert and thorn scrub.

Range: West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, southern Utah, southern Nevada, and southern California south to central Mexico and Baja California.

Conservation: Not usually required.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: None reported.


Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford  University Press, 
    Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies.  Houghton-Mifflin Co., 
    Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Bailowitz, R. A. and J. P. Brock. 1991. Butterflies of Southeastern Arizona. 
     Tucson, Ariz.: Sonoran Arthropod Studies, Inc.

Garth, J.S. 1950. Butterflies of Grand Canyon National Park. Grand Canyon 
     Natural History Association, Grand Canyon, Ariz.

Opler, Paul A. 1999. Peterson Field Guide to Western Butterflies, revised 
     edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Stanford, R.E. and P.A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of Western USA Butterflies. 
     Privately published, Denver, Colo.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.
Palmer's Metalmark (Apodemia palmeri)
distribution map
map legend

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