Red-bordered Metalmark (Caria ino Godman & Salvin)
Wing span: 3/4 - 1 inch (2 - 2.5 cm).
Identification: Leading edge of forewing is arched in both sexes. Male upperside is dark brown with a postmedian line of metallic spots extending from leading edge of forewing. Female lighter. Underside of male checkered with red; female orange.
Life history: Adults rest by hanging from the underside of leaves. Eggs are laid singly on leaf petioles of host plants. Caterpillars eat leaves and live in a rolled-up leaf or in a nest of leaves tied together with silk. Older caterpillars hibernate, but do not survive freezing weather.
Flight: March-November in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Spiny hackberry (Celtis pallida) in the elm family.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Subtropical thorn forest.
Range: South Texas south through Mexico to Costa Rica.
Conservation: Populations in the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas should be conserved.
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.
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.