Frosted Flasher (Astraptes alardus [Stoll])
Wing span: 2 - 2 1/2 inches (5.1 - 6.4 cm).
Identification: Tailless; wings are black with no white spots. Upperside wing bases are iridescent blue. Underside of hindwing has frosted white margin and white fringe.
Life history: Adults rest upside down under large leaves. To wait for females, males perch in sunlit openings.
Flight: June and September-October in South Texas; June-December in Mexico and Central America.
Caterpillar hosts: Not reported.
Adult food: Flower nectar or bird droppings.
Habitat: Shady tropical woods.
Range: Argentina north through Central America to Mexico and Cuba. A rare stray north to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Conservation: Not necessary for a rare stray.
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.