Zilpa Longtail (Chioides zilpa [Butler])
Wing span: 1 1/2 - 2 5/16 inches (3.9 - 5.9 cm).
Identification: Each hindwing has a long tail. Wings are dark gray-brown; forewing has pale spots. Underside of hindwing is mottled and has a trapezoidal white patch.
Life history: Not reported.
Flight: March-April and September-November in South Texas; all year in Mexico and Central America.
Caterpillar hosts: Not reported; presumably legumes.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Tropical scrub and nearby edges.
Range: Ecuador north through Central America to Mexico. Regularly strays to South Texas and southeast Arizona.
Conservation: Not necessary for rare 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.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann