Antillean Daggerwing (Marpesia eleuchea Hübner)
Wing span: 2 5/8 - 3 1/4 inches (6.7 - 8.3 cm).
Identification: Hindwing with a long dagger-like tail. Forewing with an elongated tip. Upperside brownish orange with 3 black lines; middle line on the forewing is sharply bent.
Life history: Not reported.
Flight: Throughout the year in the West Indies.
Caterpillar hosts: Fig trees (Ficus) in the family Moraceae.
Adult food: Nectar from flowers of Tournefortia, Cordia, Lantana, and Eupatorium.
Habitat: Tropical woodlands and clearings.
Range: The West Indies. Strays very occasionally to the Florida Keys, probably from Cuba.
Conservation: Not required for a rare tropical stray.
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. Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Smith, D. S., L. D. Miller, and J. Y. Miller. 1994. The butterflies of the West Indies and South Florida. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 264 pages, 32 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.