Mexico, USA & Canada
Family - NYMPHALIDAE
Tribe - VICTORINIINI
Anartia jatrophae ©
is closely allied to
and its Afro-Oriental equivalent
and shares their liking for sunny open habitats in disturbed
There are 5
species of which
is the commonest and most widespread. The others are
from central America and the beautiful black, red and white
from mainland South America.
When freshly emerged
jatrophae in has a beautiful
mother-of-pearl luminescence that is difficult to reproduce in a
is distributed from the southern USA to Bolivia and Argentina. It is
also found on most Caribbean islands.
This species is found in disturbed habitats including gardens,
forest clearings, orchards, farmland and grassy riverbanks. It is
primarily a lowland insect but occurs up to an altitude of 1400m.
The eggs are ribbed,
yellowish-green in colour, and laid singly on leaves of
Ruellia and other
Acanthaceae; also on
( Scrophulariacae ) and Lippia (
This is a
sun-loving species. It is active mainly in the mornings when it can be
seen basking on the ground or on low foliage. Later in the day when
temperatures rise it rests in semi-shaded situations at the forest
edge, or sits in open sunlight with the wings held erect. In the late
afternoon when the temperature begins to dip, the butterflies commonly
bask at the top of coarse grasses and herbage.