North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Tennessee

Dorantes Longtail (Urbanus dorantes)
JPG -- species photo

Dorantes Longtail (Urbanus dorantes [Stoll])

Wing span: 1 7/16 - 2 inches (3.7 - 5.1 cm).

Identification: Tails are long; fringes checkered. Body and wings are brown with no green iridescence. Forewing has prominent clear spots. Underside of hindwing has 2 bands of pale spots.

Life history: The Dorantes Longtail Skipper feeds at flowers in the winter, but spends most of the time perching upside down under leaves.

Flight: Three to four broods throughout the year in south Florida and South Texas.

Caterpillar hosts: Various legumes including wild and cultivated beans (Phaseolus), beggar's ticks (Desmodium), and blue peas (Clitoria).

Adult food: Flower nectar from shepherd's needle, lantana, trilisa, ironweed, bougainvillea, and others.

Habitat: Roadsides, overgrown fields, edges of woods, clearings and along trails in hardwood hammocks.

Range: Argentina north through Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies to South Texas and peninsular Florida. Strays north to northern California, southern Arizona, southern Missouri, and southern Georgia.

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.


Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns 
     Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 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.

Smith, D. S., L. D. Miller, and J. Y. Miller. 1994. The butterflies of the West 
     Indies and South Florida. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 264 pages, 32 
     color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

State and Regional References:

Layberry, R.A., Hall, P.W. & Lafontaine, D.J., 1998.  The Butterflies of 
     Canada.  University of Toronto Press, Toronto, ON.  280 pp.
Opler, P.A. 1998. A field guide to eastern butterflies, revised format.
     Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston.      
Dorantes Longtail (Urbanus dorantes)
distribution map
map legend

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