|Neutral ||Magpye ||On Aug 16, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR
(Zone 6a) wrote:
Wing span: 1 1/4 - 1 5/8 inches (3.2 - 4.1 cm).
Identification: Males and females differ; plus 2 seasonal forms. Upperside of male forewing yellow with black bar along inner edge and a large black area at apex. Female varies from yellow to white; forewing with gray-black on apex and black patch on outer edge of hindwing. Summer (wet season) form is smaller with more extensive black areas. Underside hindwing of summer form is satiny white; that of winter form is brick red or tan with two small black spots in cell. In southern Florida, some individuals have white hindwings.
Life history: Males patrol open areas for females. Females lay single eggs on the terminal growth of host plants. Caterpillars eat leaves. Non-reproductive dry season adults overwinter.
Flight: Throughout the year in the Deep South, late summer and fall as vagrant.
Caterpillar hosts: Pencil flower (Stylosanthes biflora), joint vetches (Aeschynomene species), and other plants in the pea family (Fabaceae).
Adult food: Nectar from a great variety of flowers including joint vetches and shepherd's needle.
Habitat: Tropical and subtropical dunes, pastures, open pine woods.
Range: Argentina north to the United States Deep South; stray to southern Arizona, South Dakota, South Texas, and Washington, D. C.