Tithian Sailor (Dynamine tithia [Huebner])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 5/16 inches (2.9 - 3.3 cm).
Identification: Male is iridescent greenish blue above, while female is blue-green with white patch near lower corner of forewing. Below the hindwing is satiny white with red-brown lines.
Life history: Unknown.
Flight: All through the year in the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Probably Deschampia species in Euphorbia family.
Adult food: Bird droppings, sap flows, and fermenting fruit.
Habitat: Tropical forests.
Range: Columbia and Venezuela south to Argentina and Paraguay. A specimen labeled Brewster County, Texas is in the Illinois Natural Survey collection. It seems very unlikely that this butterfly could have strayed to Texas, but there is not contrary proof.
Conservation: Not required for 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.
Knudson, E. and C. Bordelon. 1999. Checklist of Lepidoptera of Big Bend Nation Park, Texas. Texas Lepidoptera Survey 3, 63 pages, 12 color plates. Neild, A.E.E. 1996. The Butterflies of Venezuela. Part 1. Nymphalidae. Meridian Publications, London. 144 pages. Opler, P.A. 1999. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 540 pages, 44 color plates.
Author: Paul A. Opler
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.