Green-backed Ruby-eye (Perichares philetes [Gmelen])
Wing span: 1 1/2 - 1 11/16 inches (3.9 - 4.3 cm).
Identification: Top surface of the thorax is iridescent green. Wings are dark brown; fringes are checkered black and white. Upperside of forewing has transparent pale yellow spots; male with a curved gray stigma. Underside of hindwing is mottled dark brown, purple, and gray.
Life history: Females lay eggs on both sides of grass leaves; caterpillars eat leaves.
Flight: November-December in South Texas; many broods from December-January in Mexico.
Caterpillar hosts: Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), bamboo, and other grasses.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Flower gardens in Texas; fields and forest edges in the tropics.
Range: Paraguay north through Central America and the West Indies to northern Mexico. A periodic stray to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Conservation: Not required for a periodic 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.
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. Stanford, R. E. and P. A. Opler. 1993. Atlas of western USA butterflies including adjacent parts of Canada and Mexico. Denver and Fort Collins, CO.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann