White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae [Johannson])
Wing span: 2 - 2 3/4 inches (5.1 - 7 cm).
Identification: Upperside is white with light brown markings and a double row of light crescents at the margins. Forewing has one round, black spot; hindwing has two. Dry season (winter) form is larger and paler; wet season (summer form) is smaller and darker.
Life history: Males patrol and occasionally perch to find females. Eggs are laid singly near the host plant or under its leaves.
Flight: Throughout the year in South Texas and the Deep South.
Caterpillar hosts: Water hyssop (Bacopa), Ruellia, and Lippia.
Adult food: Shepherd's needle (Bidens pilosa) in Florida; Cordia, Casearia, and composites in Central America.
Habitat: Open, moist areas such as edges of ponds and streams, along shallow ditches, weedy fields, parks.
Range: Resident from Argentina north through Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies to South Texas and southern Florida. Migrates and temporarily colonizes to central Texas and coastal South Carolina. A rare wanderer to North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas.
Conservation: Monitor status of United States populations.
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:
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.