White Peacock Butterfly

Anartia jatrophae

Summary 5

The White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae (Linnaeus) is mainly a Neotropical species that occurs primarily in Florida and southern Texas. Males perch or patrol in areas with an abundance of host plants and wait for a female. Males are very territorial and defends host plant territory from other species.

Decription 6

TThe upper side of the adult butterfly is white and contains a round black spot with a light-to-dark brown crescent-shaped trim on forewing. The hind wing has two spots similar to those on the forewing and is trimmed with the same crescent trim in brown to orange. The two front legs are non-functioning, giving the appearance of only four legs- characteristic of all members of the Nymphalidae family. In dry or winter seasons, the White Peacock becomes paler and larger.

Range wingspan: 5.1 to 7 cm.

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Larval Description 5

Larvae are black with black branched spines with orange bases laterally and dorsally.

Larval host plant 5

Larval host plants include water hyssop (Bacopa, Scrophulariaceae) , wild petunia (Ruellia,Acanthaceae) and Lippia, Verbenaceae.

GTM Occurrence 5

The White Peacock is considered uncommon at the GTM. The species is almost equally distributed in the open habitat along Transect A and the Marsh Pond Overlook (Transect B). The White Peacock occurs in June and August to December with peak abundance in December. There have been 22 specimens observed as of December 28, 2015.

Distribution 7

The White Peacock is very common in Central America and the Caribbean, as well as southern Texas and Florida. Small numbers can also be found in North Carolina, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native ); neotropical (Native )

Habitat 8

White peacock butterflies are commonly found in warm, open, weedy areas such as fields or parks where water is abundant -usually in the form of a pond or stream. Adult butterflies are often seen along roadside ditches where host plants are abundant.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; scrub forest

Aquatic Biomes: rivers and streams; temporary pools

Other Habitat Features: suburban ; riparian

Nature serve conservation status 9

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Resident in tropical Fla., adaptable to weedy areas. Immi- grant and periodic resident in S. Texas.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Bob Peterson, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/pondapple/5076099105/
  2. (c) gailhampshire, some rights reserved (CC BY), https://www.flickr.com/photos/gails_pictures/7462190154/
  3. (c) barloventomagico, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND), https://www.flickr.com/photos/barloventomagico/1615724625/
  4. (c) Mary Keim, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), https://www.flickr.com/photos/38514062@N03/21458374513/
  5. (c) GTMResearchReserve, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)
  6. Adapted by GTMResearchReserve from a work by (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/31376891
  7. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/31376889
  8. (c) The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/31376890
  9. (c) NatureServe, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://eol.org/data_objects/28807278

More Info

iNat Map

Category name uncommon