Frosted Flasher (Astraptes alardus [Stoll])
Wing span: 2 - 2 1/2 inches (5.1 - 6.4 cm).
Identification: Tailless; wings are black with no white spots. Upperside wing bases are iridescent blue. Underside of hindwing has frosted white margin and white fringe.
Life history: Adults rest upside down under large leaves. To wait for females, males perch in sunlit openings.
Flight: June and September-October in South Texas; June-December in Mexico and Central America.
Caterpillar hosts: Not reported.
Adult food: Flower nectar or bird droppings.
Habitat: Shady tropical woods.
Range: Argentina north through Central America to Mexico and Cuba. A rare stray north to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Conservation: Not necessary for a rare stray.
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 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