Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Mesquite Ministreak
Ministrymon leda  EDWARDS, 1882
subfamily - THECLINAE
Ministrymon leda, Arizona, USA Tony Hoare
Almost all neotropical and North American Theclinae species are placed in the Eumaeini. The tribe is not especially well represented in collections, so for a long time many remained unstudied and were inappropriately filed away in the 'convenience' genus Thecla. Many taxonomists have attempted to rationalise the systematics of the Eumaeini, the most recent being Robbins who published a revision in 2004, reclassifying the taxa into 83 genera. Currently there are 1058 known species. Taking into account their small size, secretive behaviour, and the great similarities between many species, it is estimated that about another 200 species probably remain to be discovered.
The genus Ministrymon comprises of 23 known species, variously distributed from s.w. USA to Peru and Argentina. Males are dark brown on the upper surface of the wings, with a metallic blue sheen on the hindwings and around the basal area of the forewings. The ventral surfaced in most species is grey, with a broken staggered red streak on both wings. With the exceptions of cleon and azia all Ministrymon species also have additional black and/or red spots in the basal area of the hindwings, and a dark bar at the end of the discal cell of the forewings.
Ministrymon leda is distributed from s.w. USA to central Mexico.
This species is found in rocky river valleys, gorges and canyons in otherwise hot dry landscapes. It occurs at elevations between about 200-1000m.
The eggs are laid on the foodplant Prosopis ( Fabaceae). The fully grown larva has a series of raised whitish humps arranged in 2 rows along its back, and a bristly lappet protruding below the spiracle on each segment. It is green, with a broken white lateral line. The bristly pupa is chestnut brown mottled with blackish. It is formed on the upper surface of a leaf, attached by the cremaster and a silk girdle.
Adult behaviour

Both sexes nectar at a wide range of herbaceous flowering plants.



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