Pale Cracker (Hamadryas amphichloe [Boisduval])
Wing span: 2 15/16 - 3 3/8 inches (7.5 - 8.6 cm).
Identification: Upperside is light brown, gray, and white; forewing with a red bar in the cell; males with outer part of wing whitish. Submarginal eyespots of tan hindwing have orange scales outside a black crescent.
Life history: Adults perch on tree trunks head downward with their wings spread open. Before dark, adults gather on a single tree, then disperse to roost in nearby trees or shrubs. Males make a cracking noise when they fly.
Flight: Throughout the year in the West Indies.
Caterpillar hosts: Vine Dalechampia in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).
Adult food: Rotting fruit and carrion.
Habitat: Tropical and subtropical forest edges and openings near streams, open fields with trees.
Range: Ecuador north through South America and the West Indies. Reaches the Florida Keys as a rare stray or an import on exotic plants.
Conservation: Not required for rare stray.
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.
Opler, P. A. and V. Malikul. 1992. A field guide to eastern butterflies. Peterson field guide #4. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston. 396 pages, 48 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann
State and Regional References:
Gerberg, E.J. and Arnett, R.H., Jr. Florida Butterflies. Natural Science Publications, Inc. Baltimore, MD. 90 pp. Kimball, C.P. 1965. Arthropods of Florida and Neighboring Land Areas - Vol. 1: Lepidoptera of Florida. Div. of Plant Industry, State of Florida Dept. of Agriculture. Gainesville, FL. 363 pp. Minno, M.C. and Emmel, T.C. 1993. Butterflies of the Florida Keys. Scientific Publishers. Gainesville, FL. 168 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston. Smith, D.S., Miller, L.D. and Miller, J.Y. 1994. The Butterflies of the West Indies and South Florida. Oxford Univ. Press. Oxford, U.K. 264 pp.