Explanation of Names
Smyrna blomfildia (Fabricius, 1781)
The underside of the hindwing has a series of eyespots near the outer edge and a psychedelic-looking arrangement of lines and shapes in white and brown. Two small triangular "tails" project off the rear outside corner. The wings are typically kept very tightly folded, and the species flights abruptly and rarely, so the forewing and the upperside are rarely seen in live specimens. Upperwing pattern is sexually dimorphic.
se AZ, s. TX (as strays) to Peru - Map
Year-round in the tropics; in the US, primarily November through January.
Caterpillars feed on woody members of the nettle family Urticaceae, particularly the genus Urera. Adults found mainly at rotting fruit.
Adults aestivate in high mountains during the dry season.
There are apparently some interesting relationships between the host plant Urera, the [i]S. blomfildia caterpillars, and ants, with the plant producing secretions that attract ants, the ants protecting the plant from caterpillar herbivory, and the caterpillars coming up with defense mechanisms in response to the ants.
First U.S. Record: Weslaco, Hidalgo Co., Texas - 1978 (1)
Dutra, H.P., A.V.L. Freitas, and P.S. Oliveira 2006. Dual ant attraction in the Neotropical shrub Urera baccifera (Urticaceae): the role of ant visitation to pearl bodies and fruits in herbivore deterrence and leaf longevity. Functional Ecology 20 (2): 252.
Machado, Glauco, and Andre V. L. Freitas 2001. Larval defence against ant predation in the butterfly Smyrna blomfildia. Ecological Entomology 26 (4): 436.