Dingy Purplewing (Eunica monima [Stoll])
Wing span: 1 7/8 - 2 inches (4.8 - 5.1 cm).
Identification: Upperside is brown-black with a slight purple sheen. Dull, blurry white spots on forewing apex. Underside is brownish gray with no distinct pattern.
Life history: Adults perch on tree trunks with their wings closed, opening them only in flight. Females lay eggs singly on young leaves, and the caterpillars eat leaves.
Flight: Many broods all year in Mexico, June-September in South Texas, May-December in southern Florida.
Caterpillar hosts: Tropical tree gumbo limbo (Bursera simaruba) and tropical prickly ash (Zanthoxylum pentamon).
Adult food: Rotting fruit, dung, and sap; seldom flower nectar.
Habitat: Subtropical river forests, hardwood hammocks.
Range: Venezuela north through Central America to Mexico and the West Indies. Periodic immigrant to southern Florida (where it may be an occasional resident), South Texas, and southern Arizona.
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.
DeVries, P. J. 1987. The butterflies of Costa Rica and their natural history. Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 327 pages, 50 color plates. Opler, P. A. and G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 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