Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

Ruddy Daggerwing, MARPESIA PETREUS

from the May 30, 2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Another new pretty one, shown flitting about male flowers of a Croton, is shown above.

Bea identifies this one as the Ruddy Daggerwing, MARPESIA PETREUS, a member of the enormous Brush-footed Butterfly Family, the Nymphalidae, and in the same subfamily as North America's well-known Admirals.

Ruddy Daggerwings are fair-sized butterflies, about three inches across (9 cm), orangish on top, and mottled brown and black below, camouflaged as a dead leaf. Their caterpillars feed on fig trees, which are common here.

Ruddy Daggerwings are found in tropical lowlands forests and edges from the US/Mexico border (some strays as far north as Nebraska) through Mexico and Central America to Brazil.