Pavon Emperor (Doxocopa pavon [Latreille])
Wing span: 2 3/16 - 2 11/16 inches (5.6 - 6.9 cm).
Identification: Upperside of male is iridescent blue-purple; female is paler. Both sexes have a small orange patch near the tip of the forewing and a white median band across both wings. Underside of both is paler and does not have silvery iridescence.
Life history: Males perch in full sun on trees to watch for females.
Flight: In South Texas: May and August-December.
Caterpillar hosts: Tree and shrub Celtis in the elm family (Ulmaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar, rotting fruit, and bird droppings.
Habitat: Tropical and subtropical forests.
Range: Bolivia north to northern Mexico. Strays occasionally to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Conservation: Not required for a rare tropical stray.
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.