North American Butterflies and Moths List

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The Registry of Nature Habitats

U.S. Geological Survey

Butterflies of North America

Plain Longtail (Urbanus simplicius)
JPG -- species photo

Plain Longtail (Urbanus simplicius [Stoll])

Wing span: 1 1/2 - 1 15/16 inches (3.8 - 5 cm).

Identification: Long tails; brown wings. Upperside forewing marks are indistinct or lacking. Males have a costal fold enclosing scent scales on the leading edge of the forewing. Inner band of hindwing underside is connected to the brown spot near the costa.

Life history: Not reported.

Flight: October-July in Mexico and Central America; April in South Texas.

Caterpillar hosts: Legume vines including beans (Phaseolus).

Adult food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Seasonal lowland tropical forests and associated edges and openings.

Range: Argentina north through Central America to Mexico. A rare stray to the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Conservation: Not necessary for a 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

Plain Longtail (Urbanus simplicius)
distribution map
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