White Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon albata [Felder & Felder])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.9 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside gray with large areas of white patches. Underside of hindwing pale gray with faded postmedian line; eyespot near tail does not contain orange.
Life history: Eggs are laid on leaves and flower buds of the host plant. Caterpillars feed on flower buds and young fruits.
Flight: Possibly two broods in South Texas from June-December, throughout the year in the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Abutilon incanum in the Malvaceae family.
Adult food: Flower nectar including blue boneset.
Habitat: Second growth and shrubby fields in seasonally dry tropical lowlands.
Range: Venezuela and Columbia north to Mexico. A rare stray to South Texas.
Conservation: Conserve any populations in South Texas.
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: Set aside more Tamaulipan brushland habitat in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
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.