North American Butterflies and Moths List

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The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Butterflies of Texas

Plain Longtail (Urbanus simplicius)
JPG -- species photo

Plain Longtail (Urbanus simplicius [Stoll])

Wing span: 1 1/2 - 1 15/16 inches (3.8 - 5 cm).

Identification: Long tails; brown wings. Upperside forewing marks are indistinct or lacking. Males have a costal fold enclosing scent scales on the leading edge of the forewing. Inner band of hindwing underside is connected to the brown spot near the costa.

Life history: Not reported.

Flight: October-July in Mexico and Central America; April in South Texas.

Caterpillar hosts: Legume vines including beans (Phaseolus).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Seasonal lowland tropical forests and associated edges and openings.

Range: Argentina north through Central America to Mexico. A rare stray to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Conservation: Not necessary 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.
Plain Longtail (Urbanus simplicius)
distribution map
map legend

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