Two-barred Flasher (Astraptes fulgerator (incl. azul))
Wing span: 1 7/8 - 2 3/8 inches (4.8 - 6.1 cm).
Identification: Tailless; wings brown. Upperside of body and basal part of wings are iridescent blue; forewing has a white band and small white spots near the apex. Male has a costal fold containing scent scales on the forewing. Underside of forewing has a white patch at base; head and thorax are yellow below.
Life history: Adults rest upside down under large leaves. Males perch in sunny openings to wait for females.
Flight: All year in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Coyotillo in Texas and Vitex in Mexico.
Adult food: Flower nectar or bird droppings.
Habitat: Tropical forests near rivers or streams.
Range: Argentina north through Central America to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Strays to central Texas and southeastern New Mexico.
Conservation: Populations in the lower Rio Grande Valley should be monitored 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: Maintain habitats in the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
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.