White Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon albata [Felder & Felder])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.9 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside gray with large areas of white patches. Underside of hindwing pale gray with faded postmedian line; eyespot near tail does not contain orange.
Life history: Eggs are laid on leaves and flower buds of the host plant. Caterpillars feed on flower buds and young fruits.
Flight: Possibly two broods in South Texas from June-December, throughout the year in the tropics.
Caterpillar hosts: Abutilon incanum in the Malvaceae family.
Adult food: Flower nectar including blue boneset.
Habitat: Second growth and shrubby fields in seasonally dry tropical lowlands.
Range: Venezuela and Columbia north to Mexico. A rare stray to South Texas.
Conservation: Conserve any populations in South Texas.
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: Set aside more Tamaulipan brushland habitat in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
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