Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter


from the January 31,  2010 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO

Bea in Ontario also identified the butterfly above. That's the White Peacock, ANARTIA JATROPHAE LUTEIPICTA, a Brush-footed Butterfly in the Nymphalidae. Its wingspan averages about 2-½ inches (6 cm). Among its caterpillars' most important foods are Wild Petunias, which are flowering now and of which much more is said in the next section. The adults take nectar mostly from members of the Aster or Composite Family in open, often moist areas such as along shallow ditches, and weedy fields.

This is a highly successful species enjoying an enormous distribution -- from Argentina north through Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies to southern Texas and southern Florida. It migrates and establishes temporary colonies as far north as central Texas and coastal South Carolina, and even has been spotted wandering as far as North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas.