Gray Ministreak (Ministrymon azia [Hewitson])
Wing span: 5/8 - 15/16 inch (1.6 - 2.4 cm).
Identification: Tiny; tailed. Wings gray; underside hindwing with narrow postmedian line of orange bordered with white.
Life history: Females lay eggs on flower buds, which the caterpillars eat.
Flight: March-September in Florida and Texas; throughout the year in most of the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Mimosa malacophylla in lower Rio Grande Valley; Leucaena leucocephala and wild tamarind (Lysiloma bahamensis) in southern Florida.
Adult food: Seen nectaring at Leucaena leucocephala, Melilotus alba, Cynoglossum amabile, Bidens alba, Turnera ulmifolia, Mimosa pudica, and Acacia species.
Habitat: Subtropical thorn scrub.
Range: Brazil through Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies to South Texas, southern Florida, and the Keys.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
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. 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. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann