Mexican Eighty-eight (Diaethria asteria [Godman & Salvin])
Wing span: 1 5/8 - 1 11/16 inches (4.1 - 4.3 cm).
Identification: Upperside is purple with a white spot at the tip of the forewing. Underside of hindwing is gray-white with a thin black-outlined "88."
Flight: September in Mexico, July in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Tropical plants in the elm and soapberry families.
Adult food: Rotting fruit, dung.
Habitat: Wet tropical forests.
Range: Southern Mexico and northern Central America. Has strayed to South Texas.
Conservation: Not required 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.
DeVries, P. J. 1987. The butterflies of Costa Rica and their natural history. Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey. 327 pages,50 color plates. 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