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Attributes of Agathymus mariae
Agathymus mariae (Barnes & Benjamin, 1924)
Identification: Upperside is black-brown with olive scales at the wing bases. Both wings have bands of yellow spots separated by black veins; spot bands of the female are wider. Underside of hindwing is gray with faint dark markings and a sometimes vague light-colored band.
Wing Span: 1 5/8 - 1 7/8 inches (4.2 - 4.8 cm).
Life History: From early morning to noon males perch near host plants to wait for receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on the host and fall to the base of the plant. A young caterpillar crawls to a leaf tip and burrows inside where it eats pulp and then hibernates. In the spring the caterpillar makes a new burrow in a leaf base where it feeds on sap until becoming inactive in the summer. Before pupating, the caterpillar enlarges the opening of its burrow and makes a silk trap door from which the adult can emerge.
Flight: One brood from September-November.
Caterpillar Hosts: Lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla).
Adult Food: Females do not feed; males sip moisture from mud.
Habitat: Thorn forest and desert hills.
Range: Southern New Mexico, west Texas, and northern Mexico.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G3 - Very rare or local throughout its range or found locally in a restricted range (21 to 100 occurrences). (Threatened throughout its range).
Management Needs: None reported.