Common Mestra (Mestra amymone [Ménétriés])
Wing span: 1 3/8 - 1 15/16 inches (3.5 - 5 cm).
Identification: Upperside is gray-white to light brown; hindwing has a median row of white spots and an orange marginal band.
Underside is pale orange with white markings.
Life history: Adults fly slowly and stay near the hostplants.
Flight: Throughout the year in South Texas, although it is most numerous from June-November.
Caterpillar hosts: Noseburn (Tragia neptifolia) in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).
Adult food: Have been seen at Lantana flowers.
Habitat: Subtropical forest edges, roadsides, weedy fields.
Range: Costa Rica north through Central America to Mexico and South Texas. Strays north to South Dakota and Minnesota.
Conservation: Conserve woodland and brushland along the lower Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.
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.
DeVries, P. J. 1987. The butterflies of Costa Rica and their natural history. Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 327 pages, 50 color plates. Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 color plates. 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. 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:
Nekola, Jeffrey C. 1995. County Distribution Maps of Iowa Butterflies and Skippers. Dept. of Natural and Applied Sciences, Univ. of Wisconsin, Green Bay, WI. 30 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.