North American Butterflies and Moths List

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The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Northern Mexico

Band-celled Sister (Adelpha fessonia)
JPG -- species photo

Mexican Sister (Adelpha fessonia [Hewitson])

Wing span: 2 3/16 - 2 3/4 inches (5.6 - 7 cm).

Identification: Upperside is dark brown with an orange forewing apex. White median band across both wings reaches the forewing leading edge.

Life history: Males perch in light gaps, along forest edges, or in the canopy. Females lay eggs singly on leaves of host plants in light gaps and forest edges.

Flight: March-April and July-December in Texas, March-November in Mexico and Central America, perhaps all year in Costa Rica.

Caterpillar hosts: Hackberry Celtis lindheimeri in Texas.

Adult food: Nectar from flowers such as Cordia, Croton, and Baccharis; decaying fruit.

Habitat: Forest edges and trails near streams.

Range: Panama north through Central America to Mexico. A periodic resident in the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Conservation: Not required for rare stray and infrequent resident.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might 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 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.

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.
Band-celled Sister (Adelpha fessonia)
distribution map
map legend

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