Great White (Ganyra josephina [Godart])
Wing span: 2 7/8 - 3 3/4 inches (7.3 - 9.6 cm).
Identification: Large. Cell of upper forewing of male contains prominent round black spot. Wet-season female has black cell spot and also diffuse black postmedian spots. Veins outlined with black near wing margins. Dry-season female not so prominently marked.
Life history: Female lays single eggs on older host plant leaves, which the caterpillars then eat.
Flight: From September-December in south Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Trees in the caper (Capparidaceae) family.
Adult food: Flower nectar including lantana, eupatorium, and bougainvilla.
Habitat: Open, dry, subtropical forests.
Range: South from south Texas through Mexico and Central America. A rare stray to Kansas and New Mexico.
Conservation: Not required for periodic stray.
Management needs: None noted.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
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:
Ely, C., Schwilling, M.D., and M.E. Rolfs. 1986. An Annotated List of the Butterflies of Kansas. Fort Hays Studies (Science) 7, Fort Hays State University, Fort Hays, Kans. 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.