Mexican Cloudywing (Thorybes mexicana [Herrich-Schäffer])
Wing span: 1 1/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.9 - 3.5 cm).
Identification: Upperside is brown; forewing with large, dark-edged clear spots. Male has no costal fold. Underside is mottled brown and black with grayish outer margins; hindwing with brown striations.
Life history: To wait for females, males perch on or near the ground on hilltops. Females lay eggs singly under host plant leaves.
Flight: One flight from June-August.
Caterpillar hosts: Clover (Trifolium), wild pea (Lathyrus), and vetch (Vicia).
Adult food: Flower nectar.
Habitat: Alpine and subalpine meadows, slopes, and clearings.
Range: High elevation mountains of the western United States south into Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G4 - Apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management needs: None reported.
Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. 583 pages, 64 color plates. Tilden, J. W. 1986. A field guide to western butterflies. Houghton-Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass. 370 pages, 23 color plates.
Author: Jane M. Struttmann