Zilpa Longtail (Chioides zilpa [Butler])
Wing span: 1 1/2 - 2 5/16 inches (3.9 - 5.9 cm).
Identification: Each hindwing has a long tail. Wings are dark gray-brown; forewing has pale spots. Underside of hindwing is mottled and has a trapezoidal white patch.
Life history: Not reported.
Flight: March-April and September-November in South Texas; all year in Mexico and Central America.
Caterpillar hosts: Not reported; presumably legumes.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Tropical scrub and nearby edges.
Range: Ecuador north through Central America to Mexico. Regularly strays to South Texas and southeast Arizona.
Conservation: Not necessary for rare 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.