Mexican Cloudywing (Thorybes mexicana [Herrich-Schäffer])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.9 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside is brown; forewing with large, dark-edged clear spots. Male has no costal fold. Underside is mottled brown and black with grayish outer margins; hindwing with brown striations.
Life history: To wait for females, males perch on or near the ground on hilltops. Females lay eggs singly under host plant leaves.
Flight: One flight from June-August.
Caterpillar hosts: Clover (Trifolium), wild pea (Lathyrus), and vetch (Vicia).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Alpine and subalpine meadows, slopes, and clearings.
Range: High elevation mountains of the western United States south into Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
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.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 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.