Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the February 14,  2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Here deep in the dry season many trees have lost their leaves, many herbs have died back, and the insect community isn't nearly as evident as it is when it rains fairly regularly. Therefore, I was particularly pleased when a very distinctive and pretty butterfly I hadn't seen here turned up probing with its long, slender proboscis into a white carpet of male flowers fallen from a tall Royal Palm. You can see it below:


Bea in Ontario identifies that as the Pixie, MELANIS PIXE PIXE, of which precious little information seems to be available on the Internet, though I do find records of it occurring in Texas and most of Mexico. Usually a species widespread enough to be found both in the Yucatan and Texas also extends at least deep into Central America and maybe into South America.

Pixies are members of the large "True Metalmark" subfamily, the Riodininae, of the Metalmark Family. The species' caterpillars are fuzzy with white hairs, and mostly white bodies with broken bands of black and gold. There's so little other information about them that I'm tickled to at least place into the Public Domain the information that the adults might be found atop piles of discarded palm flowers.