A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
The American Snout is a member of the Libytheinae subfamily, in the brush-footed butterfly family Nymphalidae. This species is found in both North and South America. The larval host plants are Celtis spp. on which the eggs are laid singly. Massive migrations of this species often attract attention in the Texas and Mexican newspapers. Dorsal view Snout butterflies have prominent elongated mouthparts (labial palpi) which, in concert with the antennae, give the appearance of the petiole (stem) of a dead leaf. Snouts often take advantage of their brilliant camouflage by hanging upsidedown under a twig, making them nearly invisible. Wings are patterned black-brown with white and orange markings. The fore wings have a distinctive squared off, hook-like (falcate) tip. Caterpillars appear humpbacked, having a small head, swollen first and second abdominal segments, and a last abdominal segment that is tapered and rounded. They are dark green with yellow stripes along the top and sides of the body, and have two black tubercles on the top of the thorax.
I spotted this little guy flying otherwise I doubt I would have noticed it at all as it was so well camouflaged - it looked just like a dead leaf (photo 3) hanging from the blade of grass it came to rest on. Luckily for me it opened it's wings for a brief second just as I was turning the blade of grass to get a different angle.