North American Butterflies and Moths List

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U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Mexican Longtail (Polythrix mexicana (=asine))
JPG -- species photo

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

Mexican Longtail (Polythrix mexicana (=asine))
distribution map
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