Guava Skipper (Phocides palemon [Fabricius])
Wing span: 1 5/8 - 2 1/2 inches (4.2 - 6.3 cm).
Identification: Fringes are white. Upperside is black with green rays leading from the wing bases. Underside is black with a red bar at the costal edge.
Life history: Females lay eggs singly on the upperside of terminal leaves of the host plant. Caterpillars spend the day in leaf shelters and eat leaves during the night.
Flight: Many broods in February, April, and June-December in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Guava (Psidium species).
Adult food: Presumably flower nectar.
Habitat: Subtropical woods, city gardens.
Range: The lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas south through Mexico and Central America to Argentina.
Conservation: Not usually required.
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.