Elf (Microtia elva H. Bates)
Wing span: 1 - 1 7/16 inches (2.5 - 3.7 cm).
Identification: Forewings elongated and rounded. Wings are black; forewing with two large yellow-orange patches; hindwing with one patch.
Life history: Males patrol all day with a slow flight.
Flight: Late July in South Texas, throughout the year in the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Not reported.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Open fields in seasonal lowland tropics.
Range: Venezuela north through Central America and Mexico. Rare stray to eastern Missouri, South Texas, and southern Arizona.
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 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:
Heitzman, J.R. and Heitzman, J.E. 1987. Butterflies and Moths of Missouri. Missouri Dept. of Conservation. Jefferson City, MO. 385 pp. Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.