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

Frosted Flasher (Astraptes alardus (incl. grullus))
JPG -- species photo

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

Frosted Flasher (Astraptes alardus (incl. grullus))
distribution map
map legend

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