Rounded Metalmark (Calephelis nilus). Subspecies arizonensis and freemani were formerly considered distinct species.
Wing span: 11/16 - 15/16 inch (1.8 - 2.4 cm).
Identification: Male with tip of forewing rounded. Upperside brown with indistinctly checkered fringes; may have dark median band.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly in axils of host plant leaves. Caterpillars eat leaves.
Flight: Throughout the year in South Texas, although most common from March-November.
Caterpillar hosts: Boneset (Eupatorium odoratum) in the sunflower family (Asteraceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar including boneset.
Habitat: Open areas such as thorn scrub, road edges, and fencerows.
Range: Central Texas south to central Mexico.
Conservation: Habitats in the lower Rio Grande Valley should be protected and conserved.
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.
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.