North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Texas

Waiter Daggerwing (Marpesia coresia (=zerynthia))

Waiter Daggerwing (Marpesia coresia [Godart])

Wing span: 2 3/4 - 3 1/8 inches (7 - 8.1 cm).

Identification: Hindwing has a long dagger-like tail. Upperside is brown-black with lighter margins. Underside of both wings with a white inner half and a dark brown outer half.

Life history: Adults are swift and nimble fliers, and often roost together in small groups under leaves.

Flight: Many flights in Mexico from May-November, July and October in South Texas.

Caterpillar hosts: Leaves of trees in the fig family (Moraceae).

Adult food: Nectar from Cordia and Croton, dung, and other non-floral resources.

Habitat: Tropical forests and openings.

Range: Brazil north through Central America to central Mexico. A rare stay to South Texas.

Conservation: Not required for a rare tropical stray.

Management needs: None reported.


DeVries, P. J. 1987. The butterflies of Costa Rica and their natural history. 
     Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae. 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:

Neck, R.W. 1996. A Field Guide to Butterflies of Texas. Gulf Publishing Co., 
     Houston, Texas.

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.
Tveten, J. and Tveten, G.  1996.  Butterflies of Houston & Southeast Texas.
     Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, TX.  292 pp.
Waiter Daggerwing (Marpesia coresia (=zerynthia))
distribution map
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