North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Texas

Red-bordered Pixie (Melanis pixe)
JPG -- species photo

Red-bordered Pixie (Melanis pixe [Boisduval])

Wing span: 1 1/2 - 1 7/8 inches (3.8 - 4.4 cm).

Identification: Upperside black. Tip of forewing yellow-orange; base of wing with red spot. Hindwing outer margin with band of red spots.

Life history: Eggs are laid in groups of 10-30 on the host tree leaves, stems, or bark; caterpillars feed gregariously on leaves and pupate together in groups.

Flight: January-November in South Texas.

Caterpillar hosts: Guamuchil (Pithecellobium dulce), Albizia, and Inga species; all in the pea family (Fabaceae).

Adult food: Nectar from flowers of Pithecellobium, Albizia, Inga, Coffea, Cordia, Lantana, and Citrus.

Habitat: Lowland riparian tropical forest, city parks.

Range: Lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas south to Costa Rica.

Conservation: Not required for occasional stray.

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.


DeVries, P. J. 1997. The butterflies of Costa Rica and their  natural history. 
    Volume II Riodinidae. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 
    288 pages, 25 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.
Red-bordered Pixie (Melanis pixe)
distribution map
map legend

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