North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Texas

Laviana White-Skipper (Heliopetes laviana)
JPG -- species photo

Laviana White-Skipper (Heliopetes laviana [Hewitson])

Wing span: 1 3/8 - 1 5/8 inches (3.5 - 4.2 cm).

Identification: Upperside of male is white with dark markings at outer wing margins; female has wider markings than male and gray wing bases. Underside of hindwing has an olive-gray patch on the outer third which is sharply separated from the paler median area. Dark basal area contains a pale triangular patch.

Life history: Caterpillars live in a nest of folded leaves and feed on leaves.

Flight: Many broods throughout the year in South Texas.

Caterpillar hosts: Various mallows including globemallows (Sphaeralcea), Sidas (Sida), and velvet-leaf (Abutilon).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Edges of brushy areas, trails, roadsides, open woodland, thorn forest, streamsides.

Range: Argentina north through Central America and northern Mexico to South Texas. Regularly strays to southern Arizona and central Texas, rarely to north Texas.

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 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.

Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including 
     adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO. 

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:

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.
Laviana White-Skipper (Heliopetes laviana)
distribution map
map legend

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