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Butterflies of North America -- Phocides palemon

North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Guava Skipper (Phocides palemon)
JPG -- species photo

Guava Skipper (Phocides palemon [Fabricius])

Wing span: 1 5/8 - 2 1/2 inches (4.2 - 6.3 cm).

Identification: Fringes are white. Upperside is black with green rays leading from the wing bases. Underside is black with a red bar at the costal edge.

Life history: Females lay eggs singly on the upperside of terminal leaves of the host plant. Caterpillars spend the day in leaf shelters and eat leaves during the night.

Flight: Many broods in February, April, and June-December in South Texas.

Caterpillar hosts: Guava (Psidium species).

Adult food: Presumably flower nectar.

Habitat: Subtropical woods, city gardens.

Range: The lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas south through Mexico and Central America to Argentina.

Conservation: Not usually required.

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.

References:

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

Guava Skipper (Phocides palemon)
distribution map
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