Falcate Metalmark (Emesis tenedia Felder & Felder)
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (3 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Tip of forewing of both sexes extends outward slightly. Upperside of male dark brown; female brown with large creamy patch on forewing. Underside of male orange with dark checks; female yellow-brown.
Life history: Eggs are laid in pairs or singly on the underside of leaf margins. Caterpillars chew circular holes in leaves, and pupate in a partially curled leaf.
Flight: July-January in Mexico and Central America, August and October in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Clematis haenkeana in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae).
Adult food: Nectar from Asclepias, Croton, Diodia, Lantana, and other small white flowers.
Habitat: A variety of habitats adjacent to forests.
Range: Panama north through Central America and Mexico. Rare resident in South Texas.
Conservation: Habitat in Starr County, 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: Protect habitat from Falcon Dam water releases.
DeVries, P. J. 1997. The butterflies of Costa Rica and their natural history. Volume II Riodinidae. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 288 pages, 25 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.
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.