Floridata Article

Snout Butterfly (Libytheana bachmanii)

Snout Butterfly
Habitat: Rich woodlands, along streams and forest edges Garden Abundance: Low Wingspan: 1.5 to 2.0in Range: Throughout most of the eastern United States and the desert Southwest Larval Host Plants: Common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), Georgia hackberry (C. tenuifolia) and sugarberry (C. laevigata) Favorite Adult Nectar Sources: Tall verbena (Verbena bonariensis), goldenrod (Solidago spp.), Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium fistulosum), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) Spanish needles (Bidens alba), and sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia)

Named for the long furry appendages on its face (called palpi) which resemble a large nose, the snout butterfly is one of the most unusual looking butterflies in North America. Unfortunately, it is relatively uncommon in the garden - and even when it does visit garden flowers, the snout is hard to see due to its small size and cryptic appearance. The snout butterfly's wings above are orange and brown with several white patches near the top of each forewing. The undersides of the hind wings are variable in color from grayish-brown to almost purple and may be highly patterned. When at rest, the snout butterfly holds its wings tightly closed and resembles a dead leaf. It often visits mud puddles.

The very small, pale yellow-cream eggs are laid singly in the axils of host plant leaves. The mature caterpillar is mostly green with a single yellow stripe down each side. Its body is covered with numerous tiny yellow speckles. There is a small black dot that resembles an eye on each side of the body. The chrysalis is green and attached at the base with silk.

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