North American Butterflies and Moths List

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The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of New Mexico

Tailed Orange (Eurema proterpia)
JPG -- species photo

Tailed Orange (Eurema proterpia Fabricius)

Wing span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 inches (4.5 - 5.7 cm).

Identification: Two sexual and two seasonal forms. Upperside orange; tip of forewing squared off. Male with black forewing costa; females with black forewing costa, apex, and outer margin. Winter (dry-season) form with tail-like projections on hindwing; summer (wet-season) form without tails.

Life history: Males patrol for females on flats and in gullies. The dry-season form is non-reproductive until the onset of the rainy season.

Flight: August-November in Texas; throughout the year in the tropics.

Caterpillar hosts: In Texas, mesquite (Prosopis) and senna (Cassia) species; Desmodium in the tropics (all in the pea family [Fabaceae]).

Adult food: Nectar from many species of flowers.

Habitat: Desert and subtropical open and disturbed areas including scrub, pastures, forest edges.

Range: Peru north to Mexico; Greater Antilles; strays to southern Texas, southwest New Mexico, and southeast Arizona; rarely to Nebraska and Kansas.

Conservation: Not usually required.

Management needs: None reported.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.


DeVries, P. J. 1987. The butterflies of Costa Rica and their  natural 
     history. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New  Jersey. 327 pages, 
     50 color plates.

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:

Ferris, C.D. and F.M. Brown. 1980. Butterflies of the Rocky Mountain States. 
     University of Oklahoma Press. Norman.

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.

Tilden, J.W. and A.C. Smith. 1986. A Field Guide to Western Butterflies. 
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass.

Add Toliver, M., Holland, R., and S.J. Cary. 1996. Distributional data
     for New Mexico Butterflies. Privately published. Albuquerque, N.M.
Tailed Orange (Eurema proterpia)
distribution map
map legend

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