Subject: Leafwing Butterflies
Location: Wichita County, North Texas, USA
December 1, 2014 11:36 am
I snapped these two photos of what I presume are leafwing butterflies in my backyard on November 29, 2014. Is there a way to narrow down their identification? They were feasting on old bananas.
This is indeed one of three Leafwing species in the genus Anaea found in the U.S., however only two species are reported from Florida. We are uncertain if this is a Tropical Leafwing or a Goatweed Leafwing. Perhaps someone with more experience with Leafwings can identify the species. BugGuide does not offer a means of distinguishing the two species, and we can try figuring out their differences by reading Jeffrey Glassberg’s “Butterflies Through Binoculars, The West”. That excellent guide book does have range maps, and only the Goatweed Leafwing, Anaea andria, is found in North Texas, so that is our best guess. We would not rule out the possibility that Global Warming may have increased the range of the Tropical Leafwing.