Palmer's Metalmark (Apodemia palmeri [W. H. Edwards])
Wing span: 3/4 - 1 1/8 inches (2 - 3 cm).
Identification: Dark brown or gray with copper tinge. Many small white spots, some forming submarginal bands at margins of both wings. Underside orange with white spots and black submarginal spots.
Life history: Eggs are laid singly on leaves of host trees. Caterpillars rest in a nest of leaves tied together with silk, and come out at night to feed on leaves. Third-stage caterpillars hibernate.
Flight: Two broods from May-September in Nevada and Utah, many broods from April-November in the south.
Caterpillar hosts: Screwbean mesquite (Prosopis pubescens) and honey mesquite (P. glandulosa var. torreyana).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Mesquite desert and thorn scrub.
Range: West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, southern Utah, southern Nevada, and southern California south to central Mexico and Baja California.
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.
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:
Emmel, T.C. Editor. 1998. Systematics of western North American butterflies. Mariposa Press, Gainesville, Florida. Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998. The Butterflies of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON. 280 pp. 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.