Mexican Dartwhite (Catasticta nimbice [Boisduval])
Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 inches (4.5 - 5.7 cm).
Identification: Upperside cream-tan with thick black veins; wide black outer margins surrounding cream-colored spots.
Life history: Males perch and patrol for females. Caterpillars feed in groups. Pupae are found in groups on tree trunks and look like bird droppings.
Flights: All year in Mexico.
Caterpillar hosts: Parasitic mistletoes - Phoradendron velutinum in Costa Rica.
Adult food: Nectar from Fuscia, Lantana, and Senecio in Costa Rica.
Habitat: Semi-deciduous mountain forests, forest edges, streamsides
Range: Costa Rica north to Mexico. Rare stray to the Chisos Mountains of west Texas
Conservation: No recommendations.
Management needs: Not required for rare stray.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
de la Maza Ramirez, R. 1991. Mariposas Mexicanas. Fondo de Cultura Economica, S. A. de C. V. 302 pages, 67 color plates. DeVries, P. J. 1987. The butterflies of Costa Rica and their natural history. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 327 pages, 50 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.