North American Butterflies and Moths List

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Acheronta (Historis acheronta)
JPG -- species photo

No Common Name (Historis acheronta [Fabricius])

Wing span: Not reported.

Identification: Upperside of forewing is red-orange at the base with wide black margins and 5-7 white spots near apex. Hindwing has a short sharp tail; upper surface is dull brown.

Life history: Adults are swift, strong fliers and rest on tree trunks head downward with their wings held closed. Males perch on trees to wait for females. Eggs are laid singly on terminal leaves of the host.

Flight: Many flights throughout the year in the tropics; strayed to south Florida in June.

Caterpillar hosts: Tree and shrub Cecropia in the fig family (Moraceae).

Adult food: Decaying fruit.

Habitat: Tropical forests.

Range: Brazil north through Mexico; Greater Antilles. A rare stray to southern Florida.

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.


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.

Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, 
     Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates.

Smith, D. S., L. D. Miller, and J. Y. Miller. 1994. The butterflies of the West 
     Indies and South Florida. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 264 pages, 32 
     color plates.

Author: Jane M. Struttmann

Acheronta (Historis acheronta)
distribution map
map legend

Return to species list
Return to Butterflies of North America main page