Butterflies and Moths of North America

collecting and sharing data about Lepidoptera

Many-banded Daggerwing
Marpesia chiron (Fabricius, 1775)

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Cyrestinae
Tribe: Cyrestini
Identification: Hindwing has a long dagger-like tail. Upperside is dark brown with 3 pale brown stripes and 3 white spots near the tip of the forewing. Underside is light brown; basal half is gray with thin orange stripes.
Wing Span: 2 1/8 - 2 5/8 inches (5.4 - 6.7 cm).
Life History: Eggs are laid singly on buds of the host plants. Caterpillars eat leaves and make a resting platform with silk and dung pellets.
Flight: May-December in Mexico, probably all year in Central America, February and July-October in South Texas.
Caterpillar Hosts: Leaves of shrubs and trees in the fig family (Moraceae).
Adult Food: Nectar from Cordia, Lantana, and Croton.
Habitat: Tropical forests, openings, and river valleys.
Range: Argentina north through Central America to Mexico and the West Indies. A frequent stray to South Texas; rarely strays to Kansas and southern Florida. Comments: In the tropics this species experiences population explosions and mass migrations.
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.
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