Gilbert's Flasher (Astraptes alector)
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. Hindwing fringe is brown. Underside of forewing has white patch at corner. Hindwing underside has some white at base.
Life history: Adults rest upside down under large leaves. To wait for females, males perch in sunlit openings.
Flight: Several flights all year in Mexico.
Caterpillar hosts: Tree or shrub legume, Bauhinia reported.
Adult food: Flower nectar or bird droppings.
Habitat: Shady tropical woods.
Range: Mexico south to Central America. A rare stray north to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Conservation: Not necessary for a rare stray.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G3,G5- Possibly ranging from very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range to demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.
Author: Paul A. Opler
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.