Goatweed Leafwing (Anaea andria) is a somewhat wary species of butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is found over much of the central United States east to Virginia and west to eastern Colorado, New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. It is also found in northern Mexico. It is absent from peninsular Florida.
Goatweed Leafwing males are brick red above. The forewing has a pointed hook. The hindwing is tailed. Both wings below are grayish or brownish. Females are duller above and have a yellowish post median band. The hook on the forewing is not as pronounced in the summer form. This species usually perches with wings closed and thus can be difficult to detect.
Adults feed on dung, carrion, rotting fruit and sap.
Larval foodplants of this species are plants in the genus Croton in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). Plants in this genus are often called goatweeds. Eggs are laid on the underside of the goatweed leaves. Caterpillars live in leaf shelters formed by rolling and tying leaves together lengthwise. Early instar caterpillars sometimes incise notches on both sides of larger leaves then roll the remaining part into a shelter. Caterpillars eat the leaves, buds and flowers. Late instar caterpillars often construct a leaf shelter of two or more leaves tied together. Pupation usually takes place on the larval foodplant.
There are two broods. The winter form hatches in late summer or fall and hibernates during cold periods, then lays eggs in June or July in the north, probably earlier in the south. The resulting summer brood then lays eggs in late summer or fall.
The habitat of this species is generally where goatweeds grow such as roadsides, open woods, barrens, old fields and power line cuts.
- Opler, Paul A., Kelly Lotts, and Thomas Naberhaus, coordinators. 2012. Butterflies and Moths of North America. http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/
- Brock, J. P., and K. Kaufman, 2003. Butterflies of North America. Kaufman Focus Field Guides, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY 284 pp.
- Warren, A. D., K. J. Davis, N. V. Grishin, J. P. Pelham, E. M. Stangeland. 2012.Interactive Listing of American Butterflies.[18-I-12] http://www.butterfliesofamerica.com/anaea_andria.htm
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