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Butterflies of Mexico, USA & Canada
Dorantes Longtail
Urbanus dorantes  STOLL, 1790
Family - HESPERIIDAE
subfamily - PYRGINAE
tribe - EUDAMINI

Urbanus dorantes Adrian Hoskins
Introduction
The subfamily Pyrginae are characterised by their habit of basking with wings outspread, compared to the half-open position favoured by the Hesperiinae.
The tribe Eudamini includes 44 genera. There are about 95 species of long-tailed Skippers, assigned to various genera including Typhedanus, Aguna, Polythrix, Chioides and Urbanus.
The forewings of long-tailed Skippers usually have either a thin white median band, or a pattern of diaphanous spots, the configuration of which varies according to genus and species. A feature that helps narrow down the genus is the pattern on the underside hindwings. In Aguna for example these are marked with a prominent white median band, while Chioides and Typhedanus are marbled with blackish markings. Urbanus species typically have a fairly plain underside marked with parallel dark bands, although in several species the inner band is broken up into a series of 3 or 4 large blotches.
There are 34 Urbanus species, distributed variously from Texas to Paraguay and Argentina.
Urbanus dorantes is one of the most widespread members of the genus, being distributed from the southern United States to Peru.
Urbanus dorantes Adrian Hoskins
Habitats
Like most Urbanus species this butterfly is usually associated with disturbed habitats including forest glades and clearings, roadsides and pastures, at altitudes between sea level and about 1500m.
Lifecycle
The eggs of Urbanus are typically cream or greenish in colour, barrel-shaped and have about 15 vertical ridges. They are laid in small clusters on the undersurface of leaves. The foodplants vary from species to species, but are usually either grasses or herbs in the family Leguminosae.
Urbanus dorantes Adrian Hoskins
Adult behaviour

The butterflies are usually seen singly, basking with wings half-open on low foliage. In hot sunny conditions the wings are held erect over the back. Both sexes visit Eupatorium, Lantana and other flowers for nectar.

 

 

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