Ruddy Hairstreak (Electrostrymon sangala [Hewitson])
Wing span: 7/8 - 1 inch (2.2 - 2.6 cm).
Identification: Two tails on the hindwing. Upperside orange to orange-brown; underside tan with red postmedian line.
Life history: In Colombia, males perch on hilltop shrubs to seek receptive females.
Flight: Many broods from April-December in South Texas; from April-January in Central America.
Caterpillar hosts: : Flowers of coral-bean (Erythrina), probably others.
Adult food: Flower nectar from many plants including Waltheria and Casearia.
Habitat: Openings and edges in tropical semideciduous river forests, second growth, tropical thorn-scrub.
Range: South Texas through Central America to Venezuela.
Conservation: Any permanent U.S. populations should be protected.
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: Locate populations and protect their habitat.
Neck, R.W. 1996. A field guide to butterflies of Texas. Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, Texas. 323 pp. 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 and 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.