Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Gray Cracker
Hamadryas februa (Hübner, [1823])

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Biblidinae
Identification: Upperside is mottled brown and white; forewing cell bar with some red; hindwing eyespots have orange scales before the black crescents. Underside of hindwing is white; submarginal eyespots are composed of a brown ring around a black crescent in a white center.
Wing Span: 2 3/4 - 3 3/8 inches (7 - 8.6 cm).
Life History: Adults rest on tree trunks head downward with their wings spread open. Males perch on trees and make a cracking sound when they dart out at passing insects (and people). Eggs are laid singly under leaves or sepals of the host plant; caterpillars are solitary and build resting platforms out of dung pellets. Before dark, adults gather on a single tree, then disperse to roost in nearby trees or shrubs.
Flight: Many flights; throughout the year in the tropics, August-October in South Texas.
Caterpillar Hosts: Vines (Dalechampia) and herbs (Tragia) in the family Euphorbiaceae.
Adult Food: Sap and rotting fruit.
Habitat: Subtropical forest and edges, cultivated areas with trees.
Range: Argentina north through tropical America to Mexico. A rare stray to the lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.
Conservation: Not required for a rare stray.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Comments: NULL