Red-spotted Hairstreak (Ministrymon echion [Linnaeus])
Wing span: 7/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.2 - 3.2 cm).
Identification: Tailed. Upperside of male iridescent blue, female dull blue-gray. Underside light gray with 2 rows of orange oblong spots.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly on flowers of host plant. Caterpillars feed on flower and fruits and sometimes leaves.
Flight: May in South Texas, all year in Hawaii and Mexico.
Caterpillar hosts: Many species of tropical plants including some in the verbena, mint, and potato families.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Subtropical scrub and forest edges.
Range: Brazil north to Sinaloa and Tamaulipas, Mexico. Strays rarely to South Texas. Was introduced to Hawaii in 1902 to control Lantana.
Conservation: Not usually required.
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 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.