Mexican Longtail (Polythrix mexicana H. A. Freeman)
Wing span: 1 3/8 - 1 5/8 inches (3.5 - 4.1 cm).
Identification: Hindwings have long tails. Wings are brown; forewing with 2 submarginal spots near the rear of the wing. Underside of forewing has a dark brown spot near the base. Males have a costal fold enclosing scent scales on the leading edge of the forewing.
Life history: Adults perch upside down on the undersides of leaves. Caterpillars live in leaf shelters and feed on leaves.
Flight: Many broods from April-October in Mexico; June-July and October in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Tree legumes Amerimnon and Ichtyomenthia.
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Shady subtropical forest.
Range: Peru north to Mexico. Strays north to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
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