Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the September 10, 2017 Newsletter issued from Rancho Regensis north of Valladolid, Yucatán, MÉXICO

Nowadays the prettily flowering Dwarf Poincianas are hosting quite a variety of butterflies, including the one shown below:

White-striped Longtail, CHIOIDES ALBOFASCIATUS

With its very thick body and such short wings, you can guess that this belongs to the butterfly subgroup known as the skippers, and with the wings' long tail it further fits into the skipper subgroup known as the longtails. Volunteer identifier Bea in Ontario IDs it as the aptly named White-striped Longtail, CHIOIDES ALBOFASCIATUS.

Of course, the fun in having an organism's name is that it can be looked up. The White-striped Longtail's page at the great ButterfliesAndMoths.Org website tells us that the species displays a fast and erratic flight and that it perches on the upper sides of leaves -- facts easily verified at our Dwarf Poinciana. Also, the species' caterpillars feed on many members of the Bean Family, and in the surrounding forest no plant family is better represented than that one. The Dwarf Poinciana is a member itself.

This is a common, widely distributed skipper found from Argentina in South America all the way north through Central America and Mexico into southern Texas, even occasionally straying as far north as New Mexico and Arizona.