North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Texas

Broken Silverdrop (Epargyreus exadeus COMPLEX)
JPG -- species photo

Broken Silverdrop (Epargyreus exadeus [Cramer])

Wing span: 1 15/16 - 2 7/16 inches (4.9 - 6.2 cm).

Identification: Wings are dark brown. Forewing has small separate amber spots. Hindwing with small separate silver spots and an obscure pale postmedian line.

Life history: Adults perch upside down under leaves at night and on hot or cloudy days. To seek females males perch on branches and tall weeds, and occasionally patrol. Females lay single eggs near the host trees, and the caterpillars must find their proper host. Young caterpillars live in a folded leaf shelter; older ones live in a nest of silked-together leaves. Chrysalids hibernate.

Flight: October in South Texas, many flights from May-November in Mexico and Central America.

Caterpillar hosts: Legumes including Cassia and Phaseolus.

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Tropical scrub or forests and nearby edges.

Range: Argentina north through Central America to Mexico. Rare stray to South Texas, southern Arizona, and southern California.

Conservation: Not required for a rare 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.


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.
Broken Silverdrop (Epargyreus exadeus COMPLEX)
distribution map
map legend

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