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Butterflies of North America -- Phocides pigmalion

North American Butterflies and Moths List

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Butterflies of North America

Mangrove Skipper (Phocides pigmalion)
JPG -- species photo

Mangrove (Phocides pigmalion [Cramer])

Wing span: 1 7/8 - 2 3/4 inches (4.8 - 7 cm).

Identification: Wings are brown-black; hindwing has iridescent blue streaks both above and below.

Life history: Flight is fast and powerful. Males perch to seek females, who deposit eggs singly on the host plant. Caterpillars eat leaves and live in shelters of silked-together leaves.

Flight: November-August in southern Florida.

Caterpillar hosts: American mangrove (Rhizophora mangle).

Adult food: Nectar including that of mangrove, shepherd's needle, citrus, and bougainvillaea flowers.

Habitat: Coastal mangrove thickets and openings.

Range: Both coasts of peninsular Florida and the Keys south through the West Indies and Mexico to Argentina. Strayed to coastal South Carolina.

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 G. O. Krizek. 1984. Butterflies east of the Great Plains. Johns 
     Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 294 pages, 54 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

Mangrove Skipper (Phocides pigmalion)
distribution map
map legend

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