Purplish-black Skipper (Nisoniades rubescens [Möschler])
Wing span: 1 - 1 7/16 inches (2.5 - 3.7 cm).
Identification: Upperside is mottled black; forewing has tiny white subapical spots.
Life history: Females deposit eggs on the upperside of host plant leaves.
Flight: October-November in South Texas; July-November in Mexico.
Caterpillar hosts: Wild morning glories (Ipomoea) in the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Tropical, usually in lowlands.
Range: Brazil north through tropical America to northern Mexico. Occasionally strays to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
Conservation: Not necessary for a 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