Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

The Coleopterists Society supports BugGuide.

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Eumaeus atala - Atala - Hodges#4268

Atala pupae - Eumaeus atala Atala eggs - Eumaeus atala Atala Ovipositing - Eumaeus atala - female butterfly? - Eumaeus atala butterfly? - Eumaeus atala Eumaeus atala Atala Butterfly Eggs - Eumaeus atala Caterpillar - Eumaeus atala
Show images of: caterpillars · adults · both
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)
Superfamily Papilionoidea (Butterflies and Skippers)
Family Lycaenidae (Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks, Harvesters)
Subfamily Theclinae (Hairstreaks)
Tribe Eumaeini
Genus Eumaeus
Species atala (Atala - Hodges#4268)
Hodges Number
Other Common Names
Atala Hairstreak
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Eumaeus atala (Poey, 1831)
Explanation of Names
Author of the species is Cuban entomologist Charles Felipe Felipe Poey y Aloy (1799-1891). The original publication is Centurie de Lepidoptere de L'Ile de Cuba (Paris, 1832, or 1831?).
It seems likely Poey named the butterfly for "Atala", the Native American heroine of an 1801 French novella by Chateaubriand, Atala ou les amours de deux sauvages dans le d├ęsert (Internet searches).
Wingspan 38-51 mm
Distinctive color and pattern, likely aposematic.
s FL including (formerly?) the Keys, Bahamas, and Cuba. Florida subspecies is endangered.
Subtropical shady hammocks and neighboring open areas; gardens with ornamental cycads.
Throughout year (many broods), most common in early summer.
Adults take nectar.
Life Cycle
Larvae feed on Coontie, Zamia pumila, a native cycad, as well as introduced cycads. It is likely that the cycads provide toxic alkaloids that serve as chemical defenses for the caterpillar and butterfly.
considered by FL to be a "Species of Greatest Conservation Need" (SGCN) (1)
Internet References
Florida Coonties and Atala Butterflies--Univ. Florida, a good article on status and rearing
Tree of Life--Eumaeus