Overview

Brief Summary

North American Ecology (US and Canada)

Libytheana carinenta is a year-round resident in the southern United States, and is migratory through much of the northern US. It ranges to South America (Scott 1986). Habitats are woodland and thorn forest. Host plants are trees restricted to the genus Celtis (Ulmaceae). Eggs are laid on the host plant singly. Individuals overwinter as adults, but only in the south. There are multiple flights all year in s Tex and s. Fla., Apr1-Sept30 in Va. (Scott 1986).
  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
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Introduction

Libytheana carinenta is found in North and South America. The host plant of the species is Celtis, and eggs are laid singly. The species is known to have massive migrations; sometimes there are so many butterflies flying that they block sunlight.

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Introduction

Introduction:

Libytheana carinenta is found in North and South America. The host plant of the species is Celtis, and eggs are laid singly. The species is known to have massive migrations; sometimes there are so many butterflies flying that they block sunlight.

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Distribution

Geographical Distribution

Geographic Range:

Nearctic, Palearctic, Oriental, Ethiopian, Neotropical, Australian, Oceanic Island

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Resident in Mexico south through much of Latin America and into the southern United States, for example in Texas, probably Arizona, along the Gulf coast, possibly up the Atlantic coastal plain as far as North Carolina; but definitely not resident in extreme southern New Jersey which has milder winters than most of the US range. Generally frequent to common in summer where Celtis species grow in the United States grow south of about 40 degrees North and occasionally breeds north to the limits of that host genus and strays even farther. Also occurs south to Argentina.

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: A transient migratory species that breeds on species of Celtis in any habitat from desert hillsides to yards to eastern riverine forests and ridgetops to tropical forests.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Larvae on Celtis spp.

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Associations

Flowering Plants Visited by Libytheana carinenta in Illinois

Libytheana carinenta Cramer: Nymphalidae, Lepidoptera
(observations are from Robertson, Hilty, Graenicher, Fothergill & Vaughn; this butterfly is the American Snout)

Apiaceae: Cicuta maculata sn (Rb), Eryngium yuccifolium sn (H), Pastinaca sativa sn (Rb), Sium suave sn (Rb); Asclepiadaceae: Asclepias incarnata [plpr sn] (Rb); Asteraceae: Aster pilosus sn (Rb), Eupatorium altissimum sn (H); Caprifoliaceae: Symphoricarpos occidentalis sn (Gr); Lamiaceae: Pycnanthemum pilosum sn (H), Pycnanthemum tenuifolium sn (Rb); Polygonaceae: Persicaria hydropiperoides sn (FV); Verbenaceae: Phyla lanceolata sn (FV)

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Adults sip flower nectar, mud and fruit. Males perch for females (Scott 1986).
  • Scott, J. A. 1986. The butterflies of North America. Stanford University Press.
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Adult Behavior

Adult behavior:

diurnal

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Cyclicity

Comments: Adults overwinter, but exactly where is very unclear. First migrants reach southern New Jersey anytime from very late March to June depending on year and if eggs are laid in April a new brood starts in early or mid June. Scattered immigrants and/or eclosions continue some years into November. This pattern is probably about the same throughout the Southeast. Opler (1999) indicates the first emergence is in May-June in the Southwestern USA. Strays out of the normal range are most likely in summer.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Libytheana carinenta

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 14
Specimens with Barcodes: 53
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Libytheana carinenta

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 16 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

AAAGATATTGGAACTTTATATTTTATTTTTGGAATTTGAGCAGGAATAGTAGGTACATCTTTA---AGTTTATTAATTCGAACTGAATTAGGAAATCCAGGGTCATTAATCGGTGAT---GATCAAATTTATAATACTATTGTTACAGCTCATGCTTTTATTATAATTTTTTTTATAGTTATACCAATTATAATTGGAGGATTTGGAAATTGATTAGTACCATTAATA---CTAGGAGCTCCTGATATAGCATTCCCTCGAATAAATAATATAAGTTTTTGACTTCTACCCCCCTCATTAGTTCTATTAATTTCAAGTAGAATTGTTGAAAATGGAGCAGGAACAGGTTGAACAGTTTACCCCCCACTGTCTTCTAATATTGCTCACGGAGGATCATCTGTAGACTTA---GCAATCTTTTCATTACATTTAGCTGGAATTTCATCAATTTTAGGAGCAATTAATTTTATTACAACTATTATTAATATACGAATTAATAATTTATCTTTTGATCAAATACCTTTATTTGTTTGATCTGTAGGTATTACAGCTTTATTATTATTACTATCATTACCGGTATTAGCAGGA---GCTATTACCATACTTTTAACAGATCGAAATCTTAATACTTCATTTTTTGACCCCGCAGGAGGAGGAGATCCAATTTTATATCAACATTTATTTTGATTTTTTGGTCATCCTGAAGTTTACATTTTAATTTTACCAGGATTTGGAGTTATTTCTCATATTATTTCTCAAGAAAGAGGAAAAAAG---GAAACATTTGGAACTTTAGGGATAATTTATGCTATAATAGCAATTGGTCTATTAGGATTTATTGTTTGAGCACATCATATATTCACGGTAGGTATAGATATTGATACACGAGCTTATTTTACTTCAGCTACTATAATTATTGCAGTACCAACAGGAATTAAGGTATTTAGTTGACTA---GCAACTCTTCATGGAA
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: An abundant extremely migratory species widespread in much of the Americas.

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Wikipedia

American Snout Butterfly

The American Snout or Common Snout Butterfly (Libytheana carinenta) is a member of the Libytheinae subfamily, in the brush-footed butterfly family Nymphalidae. This species is found in both North and South America. The larval host plants are Celtis spp. on which the eggs are laid singly. Massive migrations of this species often attract attention in the Texas and Mexican newspapers.

Dorsal view

Snout butterflies have prominent elongated mouthparts (labial palpi) which, in concert with the antennae, give the appearance of the petiole (stem) of a dead leaf. Snouts often take advantage of their brilliant camouflage by hanging upsidedown under a twig, making them nearly invisible. Wings are patterned black-brown with white and orange markings. The fore wings have a distinctive squared off, hook-like (falcate) tip. Caterpillars appear humpbacked, having a small head, swollen first and second abdominal segments, and a last abdominal segment that is tapered and rounded. They are dark green with yellow stripes along the top and sides of the body, and have two black tubercles on the top of the thorax.

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Previously known as L. BACHMANII; has been found to be the same as the butterfly found in the tropics (B92OPL01EHUS). Opler calls this butterfly the American Snout.

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