Butterfly Atlas Species Accounts

Butterfly Atlas data collected from 1986-1990

White Peacock

Anartia jatrophae

Named

Monroe,1942

Identification

Wingspan: 2 3/16 - 2 3/4". Largely white with tan highlights and a pale orange border; also with a single eyespot on the forewing and two on the hindwing. Unlikely to be confused with any of the region‘s regularly occurring species.

Distribution

The Caribbean and southernmost U.S. south through Mexico and Central America to Venezuela. Resident in the U.S. in southern Texas and central Florida south through the Keys.

Status in Massachusetts

One record, as recorded by Farquhar: "A single specimen was captured by Mr. Low on Atlantic Avenue in Boston, June 29, 1901. Probably introduced in a shipment of produce from the tropics". This was perhaps true, although the species has been noted otherwise as far north as New Jersey (Opler, 1992), and the Massachusetts record could certainly have been a stray from the Southeast, arriving by its own power. Normally ranges only occasionally north to South Carolina.

Flight Period in Massachusetts

All year in the south.

Larval Food Plants

Recorded from a number of species in the verbena, mint, figwort and acanthus families. Apparently does not feed on Jatropha manihot, a tropical plant in the Euphorbia family for which it was named.

Adult Food Sources

Information for this species in Massachusetts is currently unavailable.

Habitat

Open lowlands including wet fields, edges of ponds, and swamps. As a vagrant could be found in any habitat.

Life Cycle

Species does not reproduce in Massachusetts.

Account Author

Mark Mello