Image contributed by U.K
photographer Michael Godfrey
Butterfly populations are a very good indicator of the health of an area's ecosystem !!
Also known as the Crimson - Banded Black butterfly.
Adults have a black velvety forewing with a gray hindwing.
The hindwing has a pinkish to red band.
Males fly around their habitat releasing pheromones to attract the attention of females. Mated females lay their eggs in small clusters on the shoots of young host plants.
The caterpillars make a perch with their silk and dung pellets as a home base.
Over wintering is done in the chrysalis.
The caterpillars are gray brown with raised green marks and spikes.
In the southern US, flights are from July - November.
Further south in Mexico and Central America the flights are longer, from March - November.
The adults prefer to stay in open areas.
They are often found in dry arid fields.
The Red Rim is typically noticed while in flight.
Their life span is approximately 3 wks.
Caterpillar host plant: Noseburn (Tragia volubilis).
Adult diet: rotting fruit and minerals from puddles.
Adult wing Span: 5.1 - 7.6 cm / 2 – 3 “