Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Pale-spotted Leafwing
Memphis pithyusa (R. Felder, 1869)

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Charaxinae
Identification: Upperside is black and dark blue; forewing with pale blue spots; hindwing with a tail. Underside mimics a dead leaf.
Wing Span: 2 1/4 - 3 inches (5.7 - 7.6 cm).
Life History: Males perch on trees to wait for females. Eggs are laid singly under leaves of host plant; caterpillars eat leaves. Young caterpillars make a perch out of a leaf midvein; older ones live in a rolled leaf shelter.
Flight: The wet season form flies from November-March; the dry season form from May-September. Flies in South Texas in March, July, September, and November.
Caterpillar Hosts: Cuala (Croton lucidus) in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae).
Adult Food: Rotting fruit and dung.
Habitat: Open subtropical forests.
Range: Peru and Bolivia north through Central America to Mexico and the lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.
Conservation: Not required for rare tropical 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