Guava Skipper (Phocides palemon [Fabricius])
Wing span: 1 5/8 - 2 1/2 inches (4.2 - 6.3 cm).
Identification: Fringes are white. Upperside is black with green rays leading from the wing bases. Underside is black with a red bar at the costal edge.
Life history: Females lay eggs singly on the upperside of terminal leaves of the host plant. Caterpillars spend the day in leaf shelters and eat leaves during the night.
Flight: Many broods in February, April, and June-December in South Texas.
Caterpillar hosts: Guava (Psidium species).
Adult food: Presumably flower nectar.
Habitat: Subtropical woods, city gardens.
Range: The lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas south through Mexico and Central America to Argentina.
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.
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